Joe Palma entered an alford plea in Simpson Circuit Court this morning. An alford plea means he is not admitting guilt but believes the evidence is strong enough to convict him.
Palma's eleven felony counts of misuse of public funds were amended to three felony counts of theft and one misdemeanor count of official misconduct. Special Prosecutors Rick Boling of Hopkinsville recommended a ten-year sentence pretrial diverted for five years. That means if Palma stays out of trouble for five years, the charges will be dropped without his serving any jail time.
The agreement also states that Palma must pay restitution on any civil judgments obtained by Simpson County.