Former Rep. Keith Hall convicted of bribing state mine inspector

06/26/2015 06:31 PM

Former state Rep. Keith Hall has been convicted of bribing a former state coal mine inspector to win favor at his Pike County mining operations.

Multiple media outlets are reporting that a Pikeville jury brought back a guilty verdict after 90 minutes of deliberation.

Hall, a Democrat who represented the 93rd House District until his defeat in the 2014 primary against Rep. Chris Harris of Forest Hills, faces up to a decade behind bars and a $250,000 fine for the $46,343 in bribes, which Hall defended in the case as “charity” to inspector Kelly Shortridge, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader

Hall paid Shortridge, then an inspector with the Kentucky Division of Mine Reclamation and Enforcement, $46,343 between May 2009 and December 2010 to ignore violations at surface mines owned by the lawmaker.

The bribes came from Hall’s S&K Properties and Beech Creek Coal Co. as consulting fees paid to a shell company, DKJ Consulting, created in March 2010 by Hall and Shortridge, according to an indictment handed down in October of 2014.

Shortridge plead guilty to soliciting a bribe in February of 2014.

Hall’s attorney said the former lawmaker will file for an appeal in the next 10 days.

While in the legislature Hall was the chairman of the House Tourism Development and Energy Committee and vice chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@twcnews.com.

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