Prosecutor who did favors for defendant in exchange for nude images has a change of heart

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In a change of heart, Commonwealth's Attorney Ronnie Goldy Jr., whom The Courier Journal disclosed had traded favors in court with a defendant in exchange for nude images from her, is now asking for a special prosecutor to investigate her latest charges.

In an Aug. 4 letter, Goldy asked the Kentucky attorney general’s Office of Special Prosecutors to appoint a prosecutor to take over a case against Misty Helton.

Commonwealth's Attorney Ronnie Goldy
Commonwealth's Attorney Ronnie Goldy

Goldy does not offer a reason for the request.

The Courier Journal obtained a copy of his letter through the Kentucky Open Records Act.

Helton is charged with fleeing or evading police, tampering with physical evidence, trafficking in a controlled substance (methamphetamine and heroin), reckless driving, speeding, no registration plates and failure to maintain insurance, according to Goldy’s letter.

The Courier Journal reported July 12 that hundreds of Facebook messages exchanged between Goldy and Helton showed he agreed to get warrants set said and do other favors for her if she would send him nude photographs and videos.

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A Facebook message sent May 4, 2018, to Commonwealth's Attorney Ronnie Goldy by a defendant in a criminal case contained nude images of her. The Courier Journal has blurred the images.
A Facebook message sent May 4, 2018, to Commonwealth's Attorney Ronnie Goldy by a defendant in a criminal case contained nude images of her. The Courier Journal has blurred the images.

Citing the story, an inquiry commission asked the Kentucky Supreme Court to order Goldy to show cause why he shouldn’t be temporarily suspended from practicing law.

“He has abused his office, abused the trust of the public and brought the legal system of Kentucky into disrepute,” said the petition, filed July 14 at the court.

“His conduct shows a clear lack of fitness to practice law in Kentucky, much less represent the commonwealth in serious criminal matters,” says the pleading, filed by the Kentucky Bar Association’s chief bar counsel Jane Herrick.

The inquiry commission said it found probable cause to believe Goldy poses a substantial threat of harm to the public.

Goldy is still practicing law, according to the Bar Association’s website.

Facebook messages sent July 26, 2018, show Commonwealth's Attorney Ronnie Goldy communicating with a defendant.
Facebook messages sent July 26, 2018, show Commonwealth's Attorney Ronnie Goldy communicating with a defendant.

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The temporary suspension motion said the inquiry panel also has initiated disciplinary proceedings against Goldy. If they are sustained, Goldy could be reprimanded, suspended or disbarred.

The president of the Kentucky Commonwealth’s Attorneys’ Association and all three commonwealth's attorneys on the state Prosecutors Advisory Council have said Goldy should resign if the allegations are true.

Andrew Wolfson: 502-582-7189; awolfson@courier-journal.com; Twitter: @adwolfson.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Kentucky prosecutor who did favors for nudes has a change of heart