We all had a lot of fun with Richie Farmer during the last election — as area journalists discovered the Ag Commissioner’s fondness for spending tax dollars in inappropriate ways, then acting as if there was nothing wrong with having a fancy vehicle, TV, or taking junkets. Then there was the divorce, filed by his wife at the worst possible time for him politically, and Richie tried playing victim, saying everyone was out to get him.
But the icing on the cake was his decision to, during the last weeks of the campaign (when it was obvious he and David Williams weren’t going to win), hire his girlfriend for a $60K position as a “special assistant” (wink wink). He claimed she was qualified, of course, since (sarcasm warning) she was a receptionist in a Louisville doctor’s office before that. Farmer didn’t bother tellling Williams he’d hired her.
Yesterday was the day all of the elected officers took over, and Stephanie Sandmann was first out the door at the Agriculture Commission. It was a no-brainer for Jamie Comer, the new Commissioner.
But before we dismiss Farmer to retreat from the public eye and go back to Clay County, he left us with this gem of a quote from the girlfriend episode, as reported by the C-J yesterday.
“She’s done a lot of different things as far as administrative work, that kind of thing, so I think she’s as qualified to do that job as anybody,” he said. “I didn’t hire her because she was my girlfriend.”
Right, Richie. Unbelievable enough. But let’s leave the topic of Mr. Farmer with this doozy, that somehow in his mind must have justified the hire.
“It’s not like she had been my girlfriend for a long time.”