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Boone County GOP calls for Tally Smith to resign; says Commonwealth Attorney has lost credibility

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By Mark Hansel
NKyTribune managing editor

The Boone County Republican Party has joined Judge/Executive Gary Moore and County Attorney Robert Neace in calling for Commonwealth Attorney Linda Tally Smith to resign.

Boone County GOP Chairman Josh Walton addresses party leaders at a meeting in April. The Boone GOP called for Boone Commonwealth Attorney Linda Tally Smith to resign after Circuit Judge James R. Schrand determined convicted killer David Dooley should be granted a new trial. Tally Smith’s conduct was called into question after information on a thumb drive was revealed (photo by Mark Hansel).

Party Chairman Josh Walton issued the following statement Monday:

“Based on the recent ruling by Circuit Judge J.R. Schrand and related media coverage, it has become apparent that Linda Tally Smith has lost significant credibility in the legal community, and the people of Boone County have lost faith in the her ability to carry out her duties appropriately and effectively. Therefore, the Boone County Republican Party calls for Linda Tally Smith to resign effective immediately, which will allow the justice system in our county to repair and heal.”

Schrand ruled Friday that convicted killer David Wayne Dooley will be granted a new trial.

In 2014, Dooley was convicted of killing Michelle Mockbee, a Fort Mitchell mother of two, at the Thermo Fisher Scientific facility where both worked.

The Kentucky Office of the Attorney General (OAG) requested a CR 60.02 hearing, to determine whether Dooley should be granted a new trial after questions arose about the conduct of Tally Smith.

Tally Smith has admitted to having an affair with then-Boone County Sheriff’s Detective Bruce McVay, the lead investigator on the case, which she claims began after Dooley’s murder trial was concluded.

Tally Smith is married to District Court Judge Jeffrey Smith.

Tally Smith

Many of the questions were revealed to the OAG’s office in a thumb drive provided by Nicholas Ramler, a former employee of the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

The thumb drive includes several notes between Tally Smith and Detective McVay, including a long letter written by the Commonwealth’s Attorney, in which she states:

“Even if I was aware that you had lied here or there on cases, I wouldn’t have wavered in that loyalty to you and ‘having your back.’”

She also indicates in the letter, which she says was never sent, that McVay commonly skirted the rules and it was such common knowledge that other detectives referred to such conduct as “Pulling a Bruce.”

Shrand ruled Dooley’s defense team was entitled to know about an individual, identified as a “random dude ,” that was seen walking on the property in a May 28, 2012, surveillance video.

Schrand also ruled the defense team should have had access to information from a detective’s conversation with a truck driver who was at the scene of the killing for several hours leading up to the crime.

At the hearing, McVay admitted to initially keeping some information from Tally Smith because of the amount of stress she was under during the murder trial.

At some point Tally Smith became aware of the evidence, but did not provide the information to Dooley’s defense team.

Judge Moore

Moore called for Tally Smith’s resignation Friday, after Schrand released his ruling.

“Although the Commonwealth Attorney is not a county office, as the chief elected official for Boone County, I believe Linda Tally Smith has lost the public’s trust, thus calling into question her ability to effectively execute her duties in our criminal justice system,” Moore said in a statement.

Neace called for Tally Smith’s resignation at a Boone County GOP meeting in April. At that time, party leaders voted not to make a decision on asking Tally Smith to step down until after Schrand ruled on the matter.

Boone County Clerk Kenny Brown has also called for Tally Smith to step down.

Tally Smith has maintained she has no plans to resign.

The matter of the Dooley’s retrial is scheduled to come before the Circuit Court on June 10 at the Boone County Justice Center for a pretrial conference.

Contact Mark Hansel at mark.hansel@nkytrib.com

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4 Comments

  1. Jack says:

    Boone County wants to repair the damage. How do they do this? There are other’s in that office who had to know this was going on with not just the Dooley case but others as well. Any case that Mcvay was involved in needs to be reopened. Did the thumb drive contain information about other cases? This may be the tip of the iceberg and the attorney’s office just wants damage control which is so much different than repairing the damage.

  2. Dean Knolls says:

    Day late and a dollar short Josh. Also Gary Moore’s response was also very shallow too. There was no need to let this play out before asking for resignation. Even if Judge had ruled a different way, LTS had already inflicted damage beyond repair. This is not only about the Dooley case but unethical behavior in Commonwealth Attorneys office and Boone County Sherriffs office. Having the backs of detectives if they lie at trial. PURE EVIL ! Corruption abounds in Boone County ! Apparently Boone County teaches to search without a warrant, turn off tape recorders and flat out, just lie, when all else fails. Is this the new playbook and standard in Boone County ? Wait until McVay and Smith start taking turns throwing each other under the bus about other cases !

  3. Susan says:

    I have proof that a sheriff deputy lied on the stand at a trial. Guess she was just doing what she was taught. The prosecutor had to of known her affidavit stated something entirely different than what she said under oath.

  4. Rose says:

    Would the Tribune please ask all Boone County elected officials their Stance on calling for Linda Tally Smith’s resignation ?? We haven’t heard from a few yet ! Thanks for covering this story so well Tribune.

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