Kelly Shortridge, a former employee of the Division of Mine Reclamation and Enforcement, entered his plea this week in U.S. District Court in Pikeville to one count of soliciting a bribe from former state Rep. W. Keith Hall (D-Phelps).
Shortridge said Hall paid about $46,000 in bribes to have safety and environmental violations ignored at Pike County operations, according to court documents. He noted in his plea agreement that Hall bribed him in 2009 and 2010, requesting he not cite Hall’s surface mines for repeated violations.
Most of the financial exchanges were made to look like they originated from Hall’s companies to shell business DKJ Consulting, which was founded under Shortridge’s wife’s name.
Shortridge now faces 10 years in prison. According to the Associated Press, he has agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors in its case against Hall that will commence April 20.