A former Letcher Circuit judge who was at the center of a public corruption scandal here more than 16 years ago is facing new criminal charges.
Larry D. Collins, who became the first sitting circuit judge to be indicted in Kentucky when he was charged with accepting bribes in 1992, was arrested in Lexington recently after being charged with making unauthorized purchases on the debit card of a former employer.
Collins, 55, of 439 North Martin Luther King Blvd., Lexington, was arrested March 31 and charged with three counts of theft by unlawful taking (more than $300) and three counts of fraudulent use of a credit card. He was also charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun.
Collins is accused of using the employer’s debit card over a threeyear period "for his own personal gain without permission." The employer is believed to be Hospice of the Bluegrass.
An arrest citation written by Officer E.S. McCrickard of the Lexington Fayette Urban County Police monetary amounts, but says "the total (was) well over $100 in six months."
The citation says that during the execution of a search warrant at Collins’s home a revolver was found under the bed in his bedroom. "A lower receiver for a shotgun was also located with no barrel," the document says.
Collins was taken to the Fayette County Detention Center where bond was set at $37,500. He has since been released from custody. The charges against him have been referred to a grand jury.
Collins assumed the office of Letcher Circuit judge in January 1992 after defeating long-time Judge F. Byrd Hogg by a margin of nearly two to one. Less than a year later — on November 22, 1992 — Collins was arrested by Kentucky State Police at his home near Blackey and charged with accepting $7,000 and drugs to influence the outcome of a criminal case.
Collins was later indicted on four counts of accepting bribes from a suspected drug dealer and on one convicted child molester out of prison.
Collins resigned from office in February 1993 and six months later was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of accepting a bribe from James "Mosey" Braddock of Deane. Collins admitted in court that he took money and marijuana from Braddock in exchange for promising to keep him out of jail.
Collins served six years as Letcher District Judge before he was elected circuit judge.