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UPDATE: Plea Hearing Set for Former Olive Hill Mayor Arrested on Drug Charge

By: Kristen Schneider; Tim Irr; WSAZ News Staff Email
By: Kristen Schneider; Tim Irr; WSAZ News Staff Email


UPDATE 11/7/13
OLIVE HILL, Ky. (WSAZ) -- A change of plea hearing has been scheduled for a former mayor of Olive Hill, Ky. arrested on a drug charge.

Danny Sparks is set to return to court on Dec. 2.

Sparks was arrested on Nov. 28, 2012 after police said he sold marijuana to an undercover officer near Olive Hill Elementary.

Following his arrest, Sparks resigned as mayor.

In February, a grand jury indicted him one felony count of trafficking marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school.

Commonwealth Attorney Brandon Ison tells WSAZ.com that he and Sparks’ attorney are discussing possible resolutions.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 2/21/13
OLIVE HILL, Ky. (WSAZ) -- A Carter County grand jury has indicted the former mayor of Olive Hill.

Danny Sparks was arrested on November 28 after police said he sold marijuana to an undercover officer near Olive Hill Elementary.

Sparks was charged with felony trafficking marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school, along with a violation of having an open alcoholic beverage container in a motor vehicle.

Following his arrest, Sparks resigned as mayor.

Earlier this month, a grand jury indicted Sparks on one count of trafficking marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school.

Sparks will be arraigned on the felony charge next month.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 12/10/12 @ 9:25 a.m.
OLIVE HILL, Ky. (WSAZ) -- The former mayor of Olive Hill was in court Monday where he pleaded not guilty and waived his right to a preliminary hearing following his recent drug arrest.

Danny Sparks was arrested on November 28 after police said he sold marijuana to an undercover officer near Olive Hill Elementary.

Sparks was charged with felony trafficking marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school, along with a violation of having an open alcoholic beverage container in a motor vehicle.

He was booked at the Carter County Detention Center but was soon released after posting a $5,000 bond.

Monday’s hearing in Carter County District Court lasted only a couple of minutes. The case now heads to a grand jury.

Last Tuesday, Sparks officially resigned as mayor. City Council elected Kenny Fankell as his replacement.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 12/5/12
OLIVE HILL, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Olive Hill has a new mayor following a special meeting of city council Tuesday night.

Council member Kenny Fankell is replacing Danny Sparks who officially resigned Tuesday, nearly a week after he was arrested on a drug charge.

The arrest happened last Wednesday night after police say Sparks sold marijuana to an undercover police officer near a school.

Fankell was sworn-in following the brief meeting Tuesday night. He will serve the remaining two years of the term. He has been a member of council for 12 years.

Fankell says he will work to improve Olive Hill’s image.

"Its an honor to be mayor. We've got a lot of work we've got to sit down and address and try to see that our little town grows," said Fankell.

Sparks did not attend the special council meeting.



UPDATE 12/3/12 @ 11:15 a.m.
OLIVE HILL. Ky. (WSAZ) -- A special meeting of Olive Hill City Council has been set for Tuesday night to “consider the tendered resignation” of Mayor Danny Sparks.

Mayor Sparks was arrested Wednesday night after detectives with the FADE Drug Task Force and Olive Hill Police said he sold marijuana to an undercover officer.

Olive Hill Police Chief Bobby Hall says the transaction took place within 1,000 feet of Olive Hill Elementary.

Sparks was charged with felony trafficking marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school, along with a violation of having an open alcoholic beverage container in a motor vehicle.

Following his arrest, Sparks told the Journal-Times newspaper that the arrest was "a big mistake."

The paper also published a copy of his resignation letter that he gave them.

“Due to a very bad mistake that I have made tonight, and have failed the trust of the good people of Olive Hill, my friends and most of all my family, I have decided with deep regret to resign tonight as Mayor of Olive Hill. I hope that everyone will understand that I have always tried to do the very best for Olive Hill and hope that the people will understand that I will always try to continue to help in any way possible to better this City regardless of what position I may serve. What happen(ed) tonight is something I have never done before and deeply regret it and hope to move on,” said Sparks in the resignation letter.

That resignation is now expected to become official at Tuesday's special council meeting. Council is also expected to name Sparks’ replacement. No other items are on the agenda.

The meeting is set for 6 p.m.

Sparks is scheduled to appear in court on December 10 at 9 a.m. in Grayson, Ky.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 11/29/2012 @ 11:30 p.m.
OLIVE HILL, Ky. (WSAZ) -- A town in disarray after a city leader, the mayor of Olive Hill, Ky., was arrested on charges of selling drugs near an elementary school.

That bust is the talk of the town and what neighbors hoped would be the talk of a special council meeting.

During the meeting, however, not a word was spoken about Mayor Danny Sparks

Now, everyone's asking -- what's next?

A letter of resignation written by Olive Hill Mayor Danny Sparks has Olive Hill resident Don Lykins worrying about the welfare of his town.

"This is a bad situation, we have a bunch of people here who do not want controversy, they don't want the bad press that comes about from something like this," said Lykins.

Wednesday night, Sparks was arrested -- accused of selling drugs near Olive Hill Elementary School.

Thursday, Lykins came to a special council meeting hoping to find out the fate of his town leader. But, the mayor's situation wasn't on the agenda, so legally, it couldn't even be discussed. The mayor -- was a no-show.

With council not talking, and the mayor no where to be found -- neighbors are left with more questions than answers.

"I came because I was interested and that's the way these other people are. I am very sad about this. I'm proud of the one's that are doing well for our town," said Othelle Lykins.

"My hope is that there will be a quick resignation and that we can move along into replacing the mayor and become a community again," said Council-Elect Glenn Mead.

A community left hanging in the balance -- wondering who will be their leader and what's next for their town.

WSAZ.com wants to point out that letter of resignation is not official until presented to council. We've made several attempts today to get a comment from the mayor, but haven't heard back.
We will continue to try to reach him for answers.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 11/29/2012 @ 6:15 p.m.
OLIVE HILL, Ky. (WSAZ) -- When an elected leader is accused of illegal activity and arrested, it doesn't take long to find people who feel that betrayal of trust.

"The mood is kind of down." says Olive Hill Police Chief, Bobby Hall, "I think the feeling is, it's an embarrassment for the city."

Mayor Danny Sparks was arrested, Wednesday night, after allegedly selling marijuana to an undercover informant near Olive Hill Elementary School. Detectives with the FADE Drug Task force along with Olive Hill Police made the arrest.

"He has confessed to the events." says an undercover, anonymous, drug task force member. "He has cooperated with us during the course of our investigation."

It didn't take long, Thursday afternoon, to find people, in this small town of less than 2,000 people, who are cynical about the whole ordeal.

"It's Olive Hill." says resident Nellie Smith. "It's Olive Hill, what can I say? Nothing shocks me."

Sparks is charged with felony trafficking marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school, along with a violation of having an open alcoholic beverage container in a motor vehicle. He was booked at the Carter County Detention Center but was soon released after posting a $5,000 bond.

Chief Bobby Hall says the Task Force had logged several complaints about possible drug activity, in the past few months, surrounding the mayor.

"It's a betrayal of public trust." says Hall. "Nobody's above the law and you have to hold people accountable."

Sparks is scheduled to appear in court on December 10 at 9 a.m. in Grayson, Ky.

UPDATE 11/29/12 @ 12:25 p.m.
OLIVE HILL, Ky. (WSAZ) -- This city of Olive Hill is shaking its head at their now former mayor after a late night drug arrest.

Mayor Danny Sparks was arrested Wednesday night after allegedly selling marijuana to an undercover informant near Olive Hill Elementary School. Detectives with the FADE Drug Task force along with Olive Hill Police made the arrest.

"We've got drug problems, lawsuits, floods, this town has seen it all," says police chief Bobby Hall. "This is the last thing this town needs to deal with, it's an embarrassment."

Sparks is charged with felony trafficking marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school, along with a violation of having an open alcoholic beverage container in a motor vehicle. He was booked at the Carter County Detention Center but was soon released after posting a $5,000 bond, jail officials tell WSAZ.com.

The Grayson Journal-Times newspaper reports that Sparks resigned following his arrest. There has been no official word from Olive Hill City Hall concerning the reported resignation.

A court date has been set for Dec. 10 at 9 a.m. in District Court.

Sparks was re-elected mayor in 2010.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 11/29/12 @ 7 a.m.
OLIVE HILL. Ky. (WSAZ) -- The Grayson Journal-Times newspaper reports that Olive Hill Mayor Danny Sparks has resigned following his arrest on a drug charge Wednesday night.

Detectives with the FADE Drug Task force along with Olive Hill Police arrested Sparks following an undercover drug buy.

Olive Hill Police Chief Bobby Hall says the arrest happened
after Sparks sold marijuana to an undercover officer. Hall says the transaction took place within 1,000 feet of Olive Hill Elementary.

Sparks was charged with felony trafficking marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school, along with a violation of having an open alcoholic beverage container in a motor vehicle.

Sparks told the Journal-Times that the arrest was "a big mistake."

The paper has published a copy of his resignation letter that he gave them following his arrest.

“Due to a very bad mistake that I have made tonight, and have failed the trust of the good people of Olive Hill, my friends and most of all my family, I have decided with deep regret to resign tonight as Mayor of Olive Hill. I hope that everyone will understand that I have always tried to do the very best for Olive Hill and hope that the people will understand that I will always try to continue to help in any way possible to better this City regardless of what position I may serve. What happen(ed) tonight is something I have never done before and deeply regret it and hope to move on,” said Sparks in the resignation letter.

There has been no official word from Olive Hill City Hall concerning the reported resignation.

Sparks was booked at the Carter County Detention Center but was soon released, jail officials tell WSAZ.com.

Sparks was re-elected mayor in 2010.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 11/28/12 @ 9:15 p.m.
OLIVE HILL, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Olive Hill Mayor Danny Sparks has been charged with drug trafficking within 1,000 feet of a school.

Olive Hill Police Chief Bobby Hall tells WSAZ.com that Sparks was arrested Wednesday night near Olive Hill Elementary with an undisclosed amount of marijuana.

Hall says FADE Task Force detectives arrested Sparks following an undercover drug buy.

Police say besides the marijuana charge, Sparks was charged with having an open alcoholic beverage container in a motor vehicle.

Sparks was booked at the Carter County Detention Center but was soon released, jail officials tell WSAZ.com.

There's no word on what Olive Hill City Council plans to do about the matter.

Two years ago, when the FADE Drug Task Force was on a major meth roundup, the mayor was chairman of the cheering section. He even talked about the need for a greater crackdown on the scourge of drugs destroying his community.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY
OLIVE HILL, Ky. (WSAZ) -- The Mayor of Olive Hill has been arrested on drug charges.

Olive Hill Police Chief Bobby Hall tells WSAZ.com officers with the FADE Task Force arrested Mayor Danny Sparks Wednesday evening following an undercover drug buy.

Hall said Sparks was arrested near Olive Hill Elementary School.

Police say Sparks sold undercover officers marijuana.

No other details have been released yet.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


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