Whitesburg KY

Tackett gets out of jail after posting $250,000 cash bond; next hearing set for July 30

A former Jenkins public official is out of jail after posting a bond of $250,000 cash and $100,000 unencumbered property.

Bond for James F. “Chum” Tackett, 68, of 351 No. 1 Hill, Jenkins, was reduced last week after he pleaded not guilty to charges that he stole nearly $500,000 from state and federal funds intended for the care for disabled rest home residents.

Tackett was released from jail May 5.

The property bond was posted May 4, but the clerk’s office closed before the paperwork was completed. Juanita Tackett supplied $80,000 of the cash bond while the remaining $170,000 came from Herman G. West of Pikeville. The money was presented in the form of a cashier’s check.

Tackett also surrendered his passport on May 5.

A Letcher County grand jury returned an indictment against Tackett, administrator of the Golden Years Rest Home in Jenkins, on April 15 on 66 counts of theft by failure to make required disposition over $500. Tackett also faces one count of theft by failure to make required disposition of property over $10,000, one count of theft by deception over $10,000 and five counts of knowing exploitation of an adult over $300. Tackett is also charged with one count of theft by failure to make required disposition under $500.

The money Tackett allegedly stole was to be used for the care of disabled residents at the Golden Years Rest Home.

The corporation, Letcher Co. Golden Years Rest Home Inc., is named in each of the counts as a codefendant, on grounds that the crimes were committed or wantonly tolerated by a “high managerial agent” or the board of directors.

The indictment and arrest of Tackett follow a nearly seven-month investigation by Attorney General Jack Conway’s Department of Criminal Investigations. The case will be prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office of Special Prosecutions at the request of the Letcher County Commonwealth’s Attorney.

The charges against Tackett stem from his involvement with the Letcher County Golden Years Rest Home between 2003 and 2010 and allege ongoing theft of federal and state funds totaling nearly $500,000 intended for the care of disabled residents. The charges carry a penalty of up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $100,000 or double the gain on each defendant.

Tackett is due back in Letcher Circuit Court at 1 p.m. on July 30 for a formal pretrial conference.

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