Commonwealth Journal

Local News

November 21, 2013

Molen resigns as Pulaski Co. sheriff’s deputy

Somerset — Less than a week after accepting a plea deal in a high profile civil rights case, Steve Molen has resigned his position as Pulaski County sheriff’s deputy.

Pulaski County Sheriff Todd Wood confirmed that he received Molen’s resignation on Monday.

Wood had stood behind his embattled friend and deputy when Molen was indicted on federal charges earlier this year of using excessive force in three separate incidents dating back to 2008.

“After receiving confirmation of Steve Molen’s plea agreement, my thoughts and prayers turn directly to all those affected by this unfortunate situation,” Wood said in a release yesterday. “I fully realize that our community, along with our sheriff’s office, will continue to move forward in a positive manner.”

Last week, Molen indicated he will plead guilty to using excessive force during a 2008 arrest involving former Burnside mayor Chuck Fourman. That case originated in the Western District of Kentucky.

Court documents confirm that the other two cases — which originated in the Eastern District of Kentucky — have been dropped as part of the plea agreement.

“I have always had the highest degree of respect for our judicial system, at both the state and federal level,” Wood said. “We, as law enforcement officers, take our oath to serve and protect our citizens very seriously and will strive to ensure that our umbrella of protection equally covers all who may come to us in their time of need.”

In the Western case, a federal grand jury this summer alleged that Molen used excessive force against Fourman during Fourman’s August 24, 2008 arrest, which took place just over the county line in Russell County.

Fourman was arrested after he led city and county police on a high-speed chase that began in the city limits and ended in Russell County after around 30 minutes. The incident occurred after an apparent suicide attempt by the former mayor.

In the Eastern District case, Molen was accused of using excessive force against local tow truck operator Danny Whitaker and fellow Pulaski County resident Gordon Cowan in separate incidents from 2010 and 2011, respectively. The Eastern District case began in June of this year after a federal grand jury in London, Ky. handed down the two charges.

Both of the Eastern indictments state that Molen was acting “under color of law” as a deputy with the sheriff’s department when the two alleged incidents took place.

After court documents were filed last week in the Western District case indicating Molen would accept a plea deal, Whitaker stated he’d been told by federal investigators his and Cowan’s cases had been dropped.

“I really don’t know what to say about this,” said Whitaker on Friday, Nov. 15. “I’m not happy with it at all.”

In the Eastern District motion, Molen’s attorneys are asking that a pre-trial conference scheduled for today in the Eastern District be continued due to the plea agreement. Western District Senior Judge Thomas B. Russell, who is presiding over the Fourman case, on Tuesday tentatively scheduled a consolidated re-arraignment and sentencing hearing in Bowling Green for Dec. 3 at 11 a.m. Central Standard Time.

The motion states that the Eastern District charges will officially be dismissed upon Molen’s sentencing in the Western case.

“We will now move forward,” Wood said. “We will continue our service to the citizens of our great county and we will diligently pursue the justice that our Constitution provides to all citizens.”

Text Only
Local News
  • Mayor Girdler.jpg Bill puts freeze on occupational tax funds

    An addition to the late-passed Kentucky Transportation Cabinet budget contains an Easter egg of sorts that could have a substantial impact on Pulaski County — although Somerset’s mayor is downplaying it.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brenzel and LCRH sign cmyk.jpg Brenzel steps down as LCRH CEO

    Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital (LCRH) has announced that CEO Mark Brenzel has decided to step down from the top leadership position.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Science Hill elementary students promote recycling

    For one group of Science Hill Independent students, taking out the trash isn’t something they avoid.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • carrie dixon-wiese.jpg Local housing facility subject of $349,000 lawsuit

    A local housing facility is the subject of a lawsuit in U.S. Eastern District Court, with several major entities named as defendants — though the Somerset city attorney notes that’s actually more for their protection.
    The defendants listed included the City of Somerset, Somerset Independent Board of Education, and Pulaski County government, as well as the company Somerset East Mt. Vernon Associates, Ltd.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Last rescue adopted pic.jpg Last of dogs rescued from Nancy kennel is adopted

    The last of 27 dogs housed at a Louisville animal rescue center after they were taken from a western Pulaski County puppy mill in a January raid has found a permanent home.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pulaski gets small share of road money

    Some $200 million worth of road-building projects in Pulaski County during the past decade likely is the reason this county got only a tiny share in the two-year road plan hammered out by the General Assembly during the session that adjourned late Tuesday.

    April 17, 2014

  • LaDonna Hurd.jpg Local firefighter dies from injuries suffered in fall at skating rink

    The community’s move to rally around a local volunteer firefighter, nurse, and single mother injured while roller skating has taken on a more tragic note.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • LAKE-FISHING FOTO.JPG Rising lake levels are improving area fishing conditions

    The rising level of Lake Cumberland is covering banks that have been bare for seven years and increasing habitat for game fish such as bass, bluegill and crappie.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ebenstein, Jacob.jpg Local man receives 12 1/2 years in DUI death of teen

    An entire courtroom on Thursday was moved to tears by parents who spoke of the loss of their 19-year-old son during a sentencing for the man who pleaded guilty in his death.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • City agencies dealing with gas leak

    From the Somerset Police Department:

    If you use East University Drive between KY 1247 and KY 39 or live in the area, your drive may be affected by a gas pipeline leak.


    April 17, 2014

News Live
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide