KY judge accused of using inmates to work on rebuilding church

KY judge accused of using inmates to work on rebuilding church
A federal judge has thrown out a legal settlement that would restrict how Kentucky uses religious-based foster homes for children. (Source: Raycom Media)

PADUCAH, KY (KFVS) - A western Kentucky circuit court judge is accused of using inmates to work on a church which he attends and has a leadership position.

Judge Timothy A. Langford is answering to the Judicial Conduct Commission on allegations of misconduct.

He's accused by the Commission of violating the Canons of the Code of Judicial Conduct.

According to Leigh Anne Hiatt, APR, Public Information Officer  with the Administrative Office of the Courts:

"The Supreme Court does not appoint the Judicial Conduct Commissions members. The Judicial Conduct Commission is composed of six voting members who serve four-year terms. The members include one representative and one alternate from District Court, Circuit Court and the Kentucky Court of Appeals, each chosen by a majority vote of their respective courts; one member of the Kentucky Bar Association appointed by its governing body; and two citizen representatives appointed by the governor who are neither judges nor attorneys."

The judge faces sanctions, admonition, private or public reprimand or censure, public reprimand or censure, suspension without pay or removal or retirement from judicial office if the commission finds him guilty of any one or more of the following:

  • Misconduct in office
  • Violation of the code of Judicial Conduct
  • After notice and hearing, to remove a judge whom it finds to lack the constitutional statutory qualifications for the judgeship in question.

Langford is accused of contacting the Fulton County Detention Center a number of times for inmates to reconstruct the church. He's also accused of asking to use publicly owned equipment to help in the reconstruction.

The judge said he did not contact the detention center to ask for inmates to work on the West Hickman Baptist Church.

He claims the work was being done by Carpenters for Christ, a volunteer group of men. The church was destroyed by fire in January 2013.

The judge said it jail inmates were volunteered to unload trucks but he did not request it.

He went on to write in a response that his actions regarding the allegations against him "involve my attempts to help other people."

The hearing for formal proceedings will be held on June 19, 2018, at 9 a.m. at the McCracken County Courthouse in Paducah, Ky.

Download the KFVS News app: iPhone | Android

Copyright 2018 KFVS. All rights reserved.