Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Update

June 11, 2014

Former mayor free on parole

June 11, 2014 — The former Olive Hill mayor serving time for selling drugs has been released.

Danny Sparks was paroled Monday afternoon and subsequently released from the Carter County Detention Center.

Sparks was convicted last December of trafficking marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school and began his two-year prison sentence Feb. 3.

His attorney, Robin Webb, filed a motion for shock probation on his behalf 30 days later, but Circuit Judge Rebecca Phillips denied the request.

A renewed motion for shock probation was re-filed, however, and brought before the court at a hearing in early May.

Included in that motion was a petition carrying the signatures of 100 Olive Hill citizens in favor of seeing Sparks released.

Phillips decided to delay a ruling on the renewed motion, however, as the matter was soon to be considered by the state’s parole board.

“With the court desiring to consider any information concerning the action taken by the parole board; with the court having received no such information thus far; and with the court being otherwise fully and sufficiently advised, it is hereby ordered and adjudged that the defendant’s motion shall remain in abeyance pending a determination by the parole board,” said Phillips in her ruling.

That board granted parole to Sparks on Monday afternoon. Employees at the detention center were informed of the decision and he was released from custody at approximately 4 p.m. that afternoon.

Under the terms of the parole agreement, Sparks cannot own or possess a firearm, must regularly report to a parole officer, cannot vote and cannot hold public office.

The civil rights of voting and holding public office can be restored at a later date by order of the governor, however.

The parole agreement also requires that Sparks seek a substance abuse evaluation and follow all treatment recommendations.

Joe Lewis can be reached at jlewis@journal-times.com or by telephone at 286-4201.

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