Paducah, Kentucky: Almost two years ago, Judge Executive Van Newberry and former Deputy Judge Doug Harnice of McCracken County were indicted by a grand jury for allegedly changing hundreds of county zoning maps without approval – a class D felony. On Monday, December 14th, Newberry entered an Alford plea to a lesser charge–meaning that while he doesn’t admit to any wrongdoing, he believes there may have been enough evidence to convict him. Newberry entered an Alford plea to second-degree official misconduct, which is only a class B misdemeanor. Defense Attorney William Kautz, of Paducah’s Edwards & Kautz Law Firm Law Firm, said “I’ll probably regret this decision tomorrow morning, but right now I think it’s in my client’s best interest.” He further stated that a plea deal was reached late last week in which the commonwealth agreed to dismiss the felony charge against Harnice, who has less compelling evidence against him. “Unfortunately, in my 38 years of practicing criminal law the truth doesn’t always prevail in this courtroom or any other courtroom,” says Kautz. The conditions of the plea deal are as follows: Newberry cannot commit any offenses in the next two years or he will face up to 90 days in county jail, and he must pay restitution in the amount of $13,800. If the men had been found guilty during a trial, they would have faced up to five years in prison. About Edwards & Kautz Law Firm: Edwards & Kautz Law Firm have over 60 years of combined experience providing the best personal injury, car wreck, and criminal defense attorneys in Paducah, Kentucky. They serve most of Western Kentucky, as well as the surrounding area. For more information call 270-908-4914.
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