Whitesburg KY

Court reinstates Craft’s law license

Former Letcher Commonwealth’s Attorney and current Whitesburg Mayor James Wiley Craft has been “reinstated to the practice of law” by the Kentucky Supreme Court.

In a unanimous ruling handed down Aug. 27, the state’s highest court said an investigation of Craft conducted by the Kentucky Bar Association “clearly shows that he is of good and moral character, and that his readmission would not be a detriment to the legal profession.”

The court also ordered that its opinion be published.

Craft was suspended from practicing law by the bar association in February 1998 and agreed to resign five months later in the wake of a felony conviction for subornation of perjury. The charge was filed against Craft after former Letcher Circuit Judge Larry Collins told authorities he had backdated an order in a probate case at Craft’s request. The revelation by Collins came after he was indicted on bribery charges in November 1991, less than a year after he became circuit judge.

Craft first sought to have his law license reinstated in April 2002, then renewed the request in April 2006. After an investigation by the Kentucky Bar’s Character and Fitness Committee, the Bar’s Board of Governors voted 15-0 to reinstate Craft.

“Craft has complied with every term of his disbarment and has shown through clear and convincing evidence that he possesses sufficient professional capabilities to serve the public as a lawyer,” the Supreme Court wrote in its opinion.

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