A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Investigator’s preliminary report finds no ‘criminal conduct’ by Boone’s Linda Tally Smith

By Judy Clabes
NKyTribune editor

A Lexington lawyer representing Linda Tally Smith has sent to Mark Hansel, NKyTribune managing editor and reporter (but not to the editor and publisher) a “demand letter” that the NKyTribune publish another letter — which we were seeing for the first time — from Shane Young, a Commonwealth’s Attorney based in Elizabethtown.

Luke Morgan of the McBrayer law firm in Lexington attached Young’s letter for our — and your — edification.

Bear with a bit of explanation.

Shane Young was assigned to investigate Boone/Gallatin County Commonwealth’s Attorney Linda Tally Smith’s actions related to her handling of a murder case against David Dooley. When the investigation was completed, he was to report to the Office of the Attorney General.

The NKyTribune has reported extensively on the matters related to Tally Smith, who prosecuted Dooley. His conviction was overturned and he was granted a new trial in the killing of Michelle Mockbee, following a CR 60.02 hearing. The decision was based on a determination that evidence was withheld from his defense team. The hearing also included details of a sordid story around Tally Smith’s affair with the chief investigator in the case.

We are sharing with our readers the letter from attorney Morgan, as he wrote it. Morgan does not indicate a knowledge of the NKyTribune (there is no print edition), cites the state’s libel statute without any specificity as to “errors” in the reporting, and says we have a responsibility to notify other outlets who may have used our stories of (something we are not quite sure of). We also don’t know of any other outlets that picked up our stories.

Mark Hansel received the letters from Morgan via email over the weekend.

Here is Morgan’s letter:

Now, to the letter Shane Young sent to Michael Wright, Assistant Deputy Attorney General. It is dated May 7, 2018. It was not shared with the NKyTribune, despite the large number of FOI requests Mark Hansel has made, requesting information related to this case. Most of those requests were denied on the basis of pending legal issues. We’ve asked for what’s on a mysterious thumb drive, for example. Our thorough reporting has involved what’s on the record and what informed sources — one of them the Attorney General himself — have told us. We cannot report on a letter from Young that is not made public.

We would have been happy to have this letter when Wright shared it with — Linda Tally Smith? Luke Morgan? — so we could have reported on it last week.

Here it is, in its entirety, presented on one page:

The letter says clearly that the investigation is not over. “The investigators advise that they are still reviewing the computer evidence”. . .”The State Police will continue their investigation until it is complete. If any evidence is presented to me that differs from the above I will contact your office . . .”

Young does say that “I can advise that neither I nor the Kentucky State Police have found criminal conduct on the part of the Commonwealth’s Attorney Linda Tally Smith.”

Young’s letter indicates he is responding to a request from Wright for an update on an incomplete investigation.

Nevertheless, these are the letters for readers to see for themselves.

Here are other stories on this case, as reported by Mark Hansel, over a nearly 18-month process:

Boone Commonwealth’s Attorney seeks damages from fired employee

Questions could lead to new trial for convicted murderer Dooley

Hearing on new trial for Dooley postponed

Explosive allegations in Dooley filing

‘Random dude’ key to first day of testmony in new trial

Defense hammers home withholding evidence

Former detective McVey admits to affair with Commonwealth’s Attorney

Testimony completed, wait several weeks to see if new trial is granted

Date for pretrial conference on new trial for Dooley

Retrial of Dooley takes small step forward

Decision to set bond hearing stirs emotions on both sides

Dooley attorneys as for reasonable bond

Bond reduction denied

Another pretrial conference, no trial date

No date for Dooley retrial

Dooley retrial now expected in fall

Dooley retrial in September

Tally Smith admits to affair, says she didn’t withhold evidence

Tribune analysis: Tally Smith should resign

Boone GOP to wait for resolution of legal matters

Boone GOP calls for Tally Smith to resign

Tally Smith seems determined to remain Commonwealth Attorney

Louis Kelly to seek Commonwealth’s Attorney seat

Dooley pretiral conference rescheduled, new calls for Tally Smith investigation

OAG asks Special Prosecutor to investigate

Fun, food politics at Senior Picnic; Tally Smith to seek reelection

Special Prosecutor says investigation ongoing; KSP assigned to case

Attorney for whistleblower says Facebook like by KSP attorney taints investigation

Attorney General is source of comments on Tally Smith conduct revealed on thumb drive

Related Posts


  1. In the 18 page letter to Bruce Mcvey on the thumb drive which is part of the Dooley Court record, Linda Tally Smith admits that while prosecuting a case an officer lied under oath ( committing perjury – a crime) and she did nothing. She also says if Bruce Mcvey lied under oath she would have had his back. That is a criminal offense of suborning perjury. Apparently the Kentucky State Police could not locate that admission by her in their extensive investigation. Of course, when you are not really looking to do anything to someone who is endorsed by the legal counsel to the Kentucky State Police, this is no surprise. It is also interesting that the Commonwealth Attorney assigned was directed to report to the Attorney General when the investigation was COMPLETED but has sent a preliminary report which was not was he was directed to do. Seems curious to me. For full disclosure I am the attorney for the Whistleblower who discovered these records of the highly unethical and, in my opinion, criminal conduct of LINDA Tally Smith

  2. Janet says:

    And Luke Morgan helped represent Linda at 60.02 hearing. So Linda has everyone pushing buttons for her. Wow !!! However,,, she still is being investigated. That is clear. She is only showing the letter that Shane Young wrote before he turned over to KSP. Now let’s talk about Linda posting naked pictures of David Dooley on social media !!! Mmm was that legal ? And wait assistant Kurt was drinking beer and asking people how do you like our background! Background was picture of David Dooley waist down ,,,, naked. Linda posted as well. She still is being investigated.

  3. Adam says:

    Our elected Commonwealth Attorney is required to uphold ethical and professional code of conduct. Failure to commit a criminal act is not the standard. Certainly we expect our officials to follow the law and not commit crimes. No surprise that Kentucky State Police will not substantiate “criminal charges.” The fox is watching the henhouse.

  4. Dean Knolls says:

    Is perjury a crime JR Schrand ????? You know it is !!!! WTH are you going to do about it then, JUDGE ??? “Having the back of a detective if he LIES on the stand” ?? Do we live in a democracy or is communism taking over Boone County ? Mr. Schrand, how can you ethically say a detective should not be held to a higher standard of credibility ? If LTS wins election, Boone County will be the laughing stock of Kentucky ! Now is the time all Boone Countians to take back OUR power. No more redactions…….. copies made of that thumb drive need to make their way in to the news media’s hands ! Anyone with ANY information need to do the “ Right Thing “ and make it known NOW ! The he** with gag orders and crap, let’s get it all out on the table. Any smart lawyer or whistleblower would have made copies of thumb drive, LET’S SEE IT !!!!!

  5. Dean Knolls says:

    Forgot this little nugget of information. I haven’t had a speeding ticket or moving violation in 18 years or even been stopped. Now that I am campaigning for Kelly, been stopped 3 times in six weeks. All very close to home. Sounds like her Sherriffs cronies are targeting me ! This is a slime ball county and Sheriff is in her pocket. Wonder what’s she got on him ?

Leave a Comment