Sheriff Guffey says recent WKYT report was unfair reporting

Posted May 4, 2016 at 2:07 pm

Clinton County Sheriff Jim Guffey was put in the spotlight last week when a news crew from WKYT in Lexington ran a story stating Guffey was allowing his 10-year-old son, Derek, to sign official documents pertaining to a particular arrest made on March 5.

It was a type of spotlight from the Lexington television station that was unexpected and, Guffey says, was unfair reporting.

The report has produced a firestorm of views on social media, with resulting comments being posted on both sides of the issue, both for and against Guffey and his actions, as well as to the fairness of the WKYT reporting job itself.

“I brought my son with me to work for a half a day. My son is proud of me and I’m proud of my son. I love him to death … If something happens to him it would happen to me,” Guffey said. “Yeah I did arrest a person, but at no time was he in harm’s way.”

Ladonna Kempton was arrested on March 5 by Clinton County Sheriff’s deputies who obtained an arrest warrant. The charges she was arrested on were drug charges, including two misdemeanors and a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance in the first degree, first offense (methamphetamine).

WKYT interviewed Kemption at the Russell County Detention Center and questioned her about the day she was arrested by Guffey, which was the day Guffey brought his son, Derek, to work.

Guffey told the NEWS when he stopped to deliver the indictment, there were kids on the premises.

“I was the one who signed the warrant, I was the one who signed the arrest document. The only thing he (Derek) signed was an internal control document. There is nothing criminal being done and there is nothing illegal being done,” Guffey said. “I personally don’t think it was a bad choice, because like I said, I love my son. Kids and elderly people are of my utmost concern for safety. This reporter made a big deal and said this was a drug warrant. Yeah it was, but there were no drugs involved that day.”

According to Clinton County Attorney Michael Rains, the form that was signed was a Jail Intake document and to his knowledge it’s just a standard form with name, social security number and other standard information pertaining to each inmate.

“Me nor Jessie Stockton, either one, have used this document in court and for the six years I’ve been on this job I hadn’t seen it before now,” Rains said.

Guffey said if he had any inclination at all that drugs would have been there, his son wouldn’t have.

“Now they are making me out like a bad guy because I love my son,” Guffey said. “They are trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill. We are hardly ever around our families because we are spending too much time trying to take care of drugs and thefts. I miss my son and I miss my family. I didn’t think at the time there was anything wrong with it. He was never in harm’s way and that’s the story.”

According to Guffey, WKYT was notified about the situation from the document Guffey’s son signed when it was sent to WKYT via email.

“During the interview, I received a domestic and it’s on record at dispatch,” Guffey said. “I said, ‘Look, I’m done, I’ve got to go.’ They came down here to talk to me and they spent 30 seconds with me. They don’t know me, they don’t know anything about me. They don’t know what I’m about … nothing like that.”

Guffey said he hates the feeling he has let people of Clinton County down or if he has embarrassed anyone from Clinton County.

“If people want me to step down because I love my son too much then I’ll go to the house,” Guffey said. “The haters are just not going to let it go. I guess that’s the way it is in politics … well guess what, I’m not a politician and I don’t plan to be. The people who want me to do a job will support me. The ones who don’t want me to do a job are the ones who start the crap.”

The photo of his son that was used in the WKYT story Guffey said was pulled from his Facebook account and has since been closed down.

“You can’t please everybody, but I’m trying my best to do a good job,” Guffey said. “I would like to personally thank everyone that has supported me on this issue.”