If Elliott successfully completes the pretrial diversion, the charge will be designated dismissed-diverted. At that time, he may petition the court for expungement of the record — meaning the charge will be erased as if it never happened.
However, should Elliott violate the terms of the diversion, the Commonwealth recommends one year as the appropriate sentence.
Elliott, 59, formerly of 3115 Woodrum Ridge Road, Liberty, was indicted by a Pulaski County grand jury on Oct. 23, 2008, on charges of theft by deception.
According to the indictment, Elliott issued a $8,194.25 check to Gillium on June 5, 2008, knowing that the check would not be honored by the bank.
Elliott entered an Alford plea July 28 in Pulaski Circuit Court to the offense of theft of labor already rendered over $300, a Class D felony.
In an Alford plea, the defendant does not admit the act and asserts innocence, but admits that sufficient evidence exists with which the prosecution could likely convince a judge or jury to find the defendant guilty.
As part of the plea agreement, special prosecutor Harlan "Lanny" Judd, of Burkesville, had recommended that Elliott, as a result of his plea, serve three years in prison.
However, when Judd addressed the court on Sept. 4 during the sentencing phase, he asked that the sentence be amended to one year in prison with restitution.
It was at this point in the hearing that the question of Elliott's competency arose.
Elliott, who did not appear with an attorney, was disheveled and appeared confused at times when addressing the court.
Tapp told Elliott that he had a statutory obligation to make sure that Elliott was competent during the hearing.
The sentencing was delayed based on the issue of his competency and the discovery of additional outstanding warrants in Jessamine County.
The charges against Elliott in Jessamine County — theft by deception, issuing a check less than $10,000 — have since been dismissed, according to a clerk in the Jessamine County Circuit Clerk's office.
Elliott served as District Court Judge for Casey and Adair counties for 23 years, retiring in 2007.
He then entered the Senior Status Program for Special Judges.
The 2000 General Assembly created the Senior Judges Program, which allows judicial vacancies to be filled in a timely manner by retired judges who serve 600 days over five years.
Senior judges receive no extra pay and are compensated through an enhanced retirement benefit.
The Kentucky Supreme Court informed Elliott orally, soon after his Pulaksi County indictment on Oct. 23, 2008, he was suspended from the Senior Judges Program, according to a Supreme Court document dated Feb. 5.
On Dec. 23, 2008, the court notified Elliott, in writing, unless the pending criminal charge against him was resolved on before or Feb.1, his monthly judicial retirement plan benefit would be reduced from an enhanced benefit to a normal benefit.
In addition, an application to suspend Elliott's law license was received Sept. 4 in the Clerk's Office of the Kentucky Supreme Court, according to a spokesperson in the clerk's office.
The Court meets on a monthly basis and was scheduled to review the suspension application the week of Sept. 19.
A ruling is expected soon on the suspension application.