EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSOLIVE HILL MAYOR
from Eyewitness News Online
Former Olive Hill Mayor Faces Drug Charges In Carter County Court
Reported by: Dave Benton
Videographer: Kenney Barnette
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Also Contributing: Dan Matics, Tiersa Davis
Reported: Nov. 28, 2012 8:13 PM EST
Updated: Dec. 10, 2012 4:07 PM EST
Olive Hill , Carter County , Kentucky
Former Olive Hill Mayor Danny Sparks was in a Carter County, Kentucky, courtroom Monday facing drug charges.
Sparks pleaded not guilty and waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Judge Rupert Wilhoit's court room. Sparks was arrested two weeks ago after police say he sold marijuana to an undercover officer near a school. Sparks officially resigned as mayor, and Olive Hill City Council appointed councilman Kenny Fankell as the new mayor.
The judge has bound the case over to a grand jury.
It's the changing of the guard for Olive Hill, Kentucky. Last week, the mayor was allegedly caught selling marijuana to an undercover cop near an elementary school. Danny Sparks, the former mayor resigned and Tuesday night, council accepted his resignation at a special meeting. Council also appointed councilman Kenny Fankell as the new mayor.
Fankell spent the past 12 years on council and says he hopes to bring faith and trust back to the local government for the citizens. Fankell was sworn in Tuesday night shortly after he was appointed. His duties begin immediately.
The mayor of Olive Hill, Ky., didn't show up for Thursday's council meeting after police arrested him during an attempted undercover drug deal earlier in the week.
A special drug task force busted Mayor Danny Sparks after they said he tried to sell marijuana to an undercover officer in the parking lot of Olive Hill Elementary School Wednesday. It was an arrest that has left the community outraged.
Officers said Sparks bonded out immediately after being booked at the Carter County Detention Center. They also said he wrote a letter of resignation, before begin hauled off to jail. There is talk from those close to the investigation, however, that Sparks might retract his resignation.
Glenn Mead is expected to step in as a council member in January, and he told Eyewitness News he wants Sparks gone. "He just needs to go so we can start the healing process," Mead said.
A special council meeting was called Thursday, but the issue over the mayor's recent arrest could not be brought up, because it wasn't put on the agenda in advance. After the meeting, city officials declined to comment.
It is unclear whether Sparks resigned. Mead and others said they now have to fix a huge black eye on the face of their town.
Sparks is charged with drug trafficking with 1,000 feet of a school, and police said he also is facing charges for having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle.
Keep checking wchstv.com for updates.
Police arrested Olive Hill Mayor Danny Sparks for allegedly trying to sell drugs to an undercover officer.
Members of the FADE drug task force said Sparks tried to sell marijuana Wednesday evening to an undercover officer in the parking lot of Olive Hill Elementary School.
He was charged with drug trafficking within 1,000 feet of a school, and police said he also will face charges for having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle.
Officers said Sparks confessed to the crime and has written a letter of resignation as the town's mayor.
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