UPDATE 9/13/13 @ 11a.m.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Former University of Kentucky basketball star turned politician Richie Farmer has entered a guilty plea to government corruption charges in a deal with prosecutors.
Farmer, whose jersey hangs as a monument in the rafters of Rupp Area, faces about two years in prison for misdeeds while serving as the state's agriculture commissioner.
He appeared Friday morning in U.S. District Court in Frankfort.
Farmer was accused of using Department of Agriculture employees to work on his Frankfort home, including building a basketball court in his backyard.
Prosecutors said Farmer also hired friends, including his girlfriend, as special assistants who did little or no work for the agency. And they accused Farmer of using government employees to do personal errands, including babysitting his children, mowing his yard, even chauffeuring his dog.
Richie Farmer was the sweet-shooting guard for a UK team dubbed "The Unforgettables" for their gutsy play.
He launched a political career that came crashing down during a bid for lieutenant governor in 2011 when complaints began to surface about his management of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
Defense attorney Guthrie True filed a motion for a change of plea on Thursday morning, signaling that he has reached agreements to resolve all pending and potential criminal and ethics charges.
If convicted, Farmer could have faced 10 years in prison.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Wier issued an order Wednesday bumping up the date of Farmer's first court appearance from April 30. Wier cited a scheduling conflict by Farmer's attorney, J. Guthrie True, as the reason.
The arraignment is set for 4 p.m in Lexington.
The indictment unsealed Monday charges Farmer with using his state position to obtain thousands of dollars' worth of gifts, hotel rooms, clothing and computers. It also charges him with hiring friends who did little or no work for the state.
The indictment says that throughout his tenure as agriculture commissioner from 2004 to 2012, Farmer wrongfully used public funds and state resources to obtain goods and services for himself and his family.
If convicted on all counts, Farmer faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Farmer's attorney, Guthrie True, said Monday he is reviewing the indictment and saw no surprises in it.
Farmer was a shooting guard for the University of Kentucky's Wildcats basketball team from 1988 to 1992, a team known as "The Unforgettables."
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