Did approval of Kentucky dog kennel expansion lead to confrontation between county treasurer, attorney? Incident under investigation.

Published 4:35 am Friday, July 23, 2021

A confrontation that allegedly occurred between the Boyle County Treasurer and a Lexington attorney following a public hearing Tuesday evening is being investigated by police and the county judge executive.

After the Danville-Boyle County Board of Adjustments public hearing and subsequent approval for Parker’s Place dog kennel and grooming business to expand, a verbal altercation began in the hallway outside of the Planning and Zoning office at Danville City Hall, according to multiple witnesses.

A group of people who attended the hearing were still gathered in the parking lot and watched as Boyle County Treasurer Keagan Hinkle and Richard A. Getty, attorney for Wendy Lannigan and her business, continued a confrontation outside of city hall, witnesses said.

Police were summoned and they ran to the scene.

One person said it appeared that Hinkle untucked his shirt, took off his belt and waved it in a threatening way toward Getty.

On Wednesday, County Administrator Julie Wagner said County Judge-Executive Howard Hunt “is conducting a thorough investigation of the incident.” She said he was talking to people who witnessed the event, and will watch the surveillance video of the hallway and parking lot during the time that the incident allegedly happened once the Danville Police Department finishes conducting its own investigation and releases the video.

Afterward, Hunt will make a statement about the situation, she said. She added that Hunt will “make an educated decision on how to handle this.”

Wagner said she had also talked to Danville Mayor Mike Perros who stated “there were no punches thrown and no fisticuffs.”

On Wednesday, Hinkle said he didn’t want to make a statement regarding the incident. He did say, however, that he lives with his parents who are the next-door neighbors of Parker’s Place and who have been outspoken against the kennel.

“It’s put me in a bind between my family and work, and so I’ve stayed out of the whole ordeal.”

When asked about the allegation that he was involved in an “emotional outburst” or confrontation in the city hall parking lot, Hinkle said, “I don’t really have a comment for it, to be honest, because I don’t even know … what happened. … I kind of, was just bombarded.”

When asked about the belt allegation, Hinkle said, “I had just taken my belt off. … I just took my belt off because it had been a long day. I untucked my shirt. I’m getting a little bigger these days. I’m getting older. I just wanted to release some pressure. I couldn’t believe what had just happened.”

Hinkle said, “I don’t have any problems with the kennel or the Lannigans, or anybody else that affiliates with the kennel. I just wish it was somewhere else.”

He added, “I think they’re probably a great business. I’m sure they are. I support the business. I support local. Maybe I wish it was in a different location, but you can’t change what it is. … They’re taxpayers in the community. They pay their occupational net profit taxes just like everybody else, and I hope that the business continues to grow, continues to do well.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Getty said, “I was taken aback by the whole damn thing, to be honest with you.”

Getty said he never felt threatened during the situation.

“I’m not sure that I can be threatened by anyone. Did I feel uncomfortable with the whole situation? You’re damn right I did. I thought it was totally inappropriate, totally out of line, but I don’t think that boy, or anyone else in the world could threaten Richard A. Getty,” he said.

He added, “We’re adults … you just don’t engage in that kind of conduct. … I think it’s just a very, very unfortunate situation. … The worst part of it is that … he is a public official. He should know better.”