Sheriff with DUI charges can’t drive or carry a gun but refuses to resign


BRECKINRIDGE, Ken. – The residents of a Kentucky community are asking their sheriff to step down immediately and restore their faith in local law enforcement.

He has no license. He can’t legally drive or carry a firearm. Yet he’s still in charge of the Breckinridge County Sheriff’s Office.

After numerous mishaps and negative public attention, local residents are calling for Sheriff Todd Pate to resign… immediately.

Sheriff with DUI charges can’t drive or carry a gun but refuses to resign
Sheriff Todd Pate faces six felony charges from a DUI in March. He cannot legally drive or carry a firearm. (BCSO)


Small protests outside of the BCSO department brought people with signs that read, “Todd Pate resign now.”

WDRB reported that Sheriff Pate has been arrested for DUI twice in the last few years, one as recent as March, and as a result he can’t carry a firearm or drive a car.


“When you have the sheriff who has to have somebody else to drive him around … is this really good for our county?” one local citizen asked. “Is this what we elected this sheriff for?”

When the local news station requested Pate’s public file, they reportedly received just a 10-page report. When they followed up, asking if it was the entire set of records, the BCSO then publicly released more than 100 pages covering Pate’s long history of certifications and trainings.

But nothing in those 100+ pages mentioned anything about the sheriff’s DUI charges from 2015 or his most recent one from March of 2019, in which he faces six felony charges.

Back in 2015, records show that Pate was arrested and charged with DUI, reckless driving and terroristic threatening. He received no jail for that case. When he returned to work, he was questioned about whether he was a good fit to lead the county’s law enforcement.

“I think so,” he said. “I think in the log run, I’ll be a stronger, better sheriff.”



Sheriff with DUI charges can’t drive or carry a gun but refuses to resign


Breckinridge County Judge-Executive Maurice Lucas says that local citizens ask about removing Sheriff Pate frequently, but he does not have the authority to take him out of office.

So, who does have the authority to make that decision?

WDRB noted that Kentucky state law says, “Proceedings for impeachment or removal … may be instituted by the House of Representatives without a petition from any person.” The Speaker of the House would have to put together a committee to decide whether the charge is impeachable. It would then go to the Senate.


“As it shows, there have only been four impeachments in all of Kentucky’s history, counting that one in 1991, and the most recent involving a locally elected official was more than a century ago, in 1916,” said Brian Wilkerson of the Legislative Research Commission. “Although this method is possible through the state constitution, it is not the route that historically has been used, especially in cases like the one in Breckinridge County.”


Another major complaint that stemmed from the BCSO alleged that a local woman found out from a local business owner that her son had been in a severe car accident and that no one from the sheriff’s office contacted her to let her know.

“You can have a loved one in a wreck and not be notified because of somebody’s lack of caring,” the woman said about the handling of the wreck.

“He has a oath to this office to protect and serve his county and citizens who come through his county, but beyond that, it’s a decent human obligation to be a good person,” she said.


Sheriff with DUI charges can’t drive or carry a gun but refuses to resign

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