Former Hodgenville mayor, city clerk sentenced to time served, must pay restitution


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HODGENVILLE, Kentucky — A judge has sentenced a former mayor and city clerk in central Kentucky to time served, and both have been released from custody.

The News Enterprise ( ) reports Nelson Circuit Judge Charles Simms on Thursday sentenced former Hodgenville Mayor Terry L. Cruse and former City Clerk MaDonna Hornback according to their plea agreements.

Both were accused of using a city-issued fuel credit card to make personal purchases.

Cruse pleaded guilty in February to nine counts of abuse of public trust and two counts of complicity to theft. Former City Clerk MaDonna Hornback pleaded guilty to 54 counts of abuse of public trust and two counts of complicity to theft.

The plea agreement called for a probated three-year sentence with 30 days to serve in jail and restitution to the city.

"I guess 'favorable' would be a good word," said F. Todd Lewis, attorney for Cruse, about the outcome of the case. "It was the fair outcome, no question about it. I think they're overall pleased with it and are ready to move on with their life from here."

Prosecutor Whitney Meredith was also pleased with the resolution.

"I am glad that there has finally been a conclusion to the case," Meredith said after the sentencing. "Bringing this type of corruption to the forefront, I think it's had a trickle-down effect."

She said she hopes the case sends a message that public officials should be held to higher standards.

"Everything you do is under a microscope," she said. "You shouldn't be doing anything that you're trying to shield from your constituents. You should be willing to open up your books at all times."

Information from: The News-Enterprise,

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