Bribery Schmibery, Kentucky Will Let Fraudsters Work With Gov’t Again After Serving Time

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A former Kentucky official and representative can do business with the federal government again once they’re out of prison.

Kelly Shortridge — former environmental inspector for the Kentucky Division of Mine Reclamation and Enforcement — will spend two years behind bars and three years on supervised release. He accepted $46,000 in bribes from former Democratic state Rep. Keith Hall in exchange for overlooking violations at Hall’s coal mines, according to the Department of the Interior (DOI) Office of Inspector General (IG).

A Kentucky jury convicted Hall, who will spend seven years behind bars and two years on supervised release, and pay a $25,000 fine. Shortridge brokered a plea deal, and only has a $2,000 fine.

Once Shortridge serves his time by 2019, he can participate in “federal procurement and non-procurement programs,” according to the IG. The court prohibited Hall’s business, Beech Creek Coal Company, from doing business with the federal government, but only until 2019.

Shortridge also admitted to accepting $15,000 in payments from various other coal companies for his personal use from 2009 to 2013, according to the IG. The IG didn’t say whether Shortridge resigned, retired or was fired. (RELATED: Rep. Gohmert: ‘Evidence Of Exacerbating Corruption’ At Interior Dept)

The IG and FBI conducted the investigation.

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