Special prosecutor 'cannot find any criminal conduct' by Linda Tally Smith

Kentucky State Police continuing investigation

BURLINGTON, Ky. -- The criminal investigation into the Boone and Gallatin county commonwealth's attorney is close to wrapping up, and investigators haven't found evidence of her doing anything illegal.

Last year, the Kentucky Attorney General's Office appointed Shane Young, the Hardin County commonwealth's attorney, to investigate if Linda Tally Smith committed any criminal wrongdoing in connection to the David Dooley murder trial. 

Dooley's defense lawyers said that authorities withheld evidence, a video that showed someone approach the building where the murder occurred the night before it happened. Dooley had been found guilty of killing his coworker, but a judge tossed out the conviction after the defense team raised questions about the video. The judge also found the commonwealth's attorney's office did not intentionally withhold evidence.

In a letter to the attorney general's office that Tally Smith provided to WCPO, Young wrote that he and the Kentucky State Police assigned to the case had not found any criminal conduct committed by Tally Smith. A spokesperson for the attorney general's office confirmed they received the letter.

"I had every belief that nothing criminal could ever possibly come out of this," Tally Smith said. "But it is a relief to see it in writing. Just one super-duper long process finally concluding."

Young wasn't immediately available to comment.

MORE: Linda Tally Smith shrugs off calls to resign, runs for re-election

Tally Smith is currently running for re-election, but she has taken heat for an affair she admitted to having with the lead detective on the Dooley case after the initial trial had ended. 

Attorney Louis Kelly is running against Tally Smith in the Republican primary to be held on May 22. He and other local Republican officials have called for Tally Smith to resign and drop out of the race. 

But Tally Smith has denied doing anything wrong professionally. 

"I have not been found to have committed any professional misconduct," she told the 9 On Your Side I-Team last month. "And I have not been charged, and I will not be charged with any crime because I didn't commit any crime. And so for these people to call for my resignation under the circumstances, it's repulsive to me."

While Young wrote in the letter this week that investigators haven't found evidence of Tally Smith doing anything wrong, authorities are still working the case. Young wrote that they're reviewing computer evidence related to another special prosecution and looking at the actions of other people in the matter. 

There is currently a civil lawsuit between Tally Smith and her former law clerk, Nick Ramler. That case involves thousands of computer files she claims he stole from an office computer. Those files were how the affair and the existence of the surveillance video first came to light. 

Ramler's attorney, Steve Wolnitzek, sent the files to the attorney general's office in February of 2017. He has denied that Ramler stole anything.

Wolnitzek said neither he nor Ramler have been contacted by a special prosecutor.

Young didn't specify how soon the investigation would be complete.

Read the letter below:

Letter from special prosecutor by WCPO Web Team on Scribd

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