Secret audio recording at center of lawsuit between commonwealth's attorney, former clerk

Posted at 6:38 PM, Apr 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-25 14:14:23-04

BURLINGTON, Ky. -- Two secretly-recorded conversations have led to new charges and countercharges in the battle between the Boone County commonwealth's attorney and a former law clerk.

Linda Tally-Smith is suing Nick Ramler, alleging he blackmailed her with information about her affair with a former Boone County deputy. Ramler has countered, saying that he was acting as a whistleblower and that the dates of his termination aren't accurate.

The recordings begin in a Sept. 2 meeting with Tally-Smith talking with Ramler about his attitude on the job.

"I think you need to check your attitude and remember the fact that I am still the boss here," Tally-Smith says on the recording. "And, so, if you don't like working for me, go ahead and find another job. Go ahead and leave today, as far as I care."

Ramler responds by telling her about how he discovered correspondence between Tally-Smith and Bruce McVay, a former investigator for the Boone County Sheriff's Office. McVay later testified that he and Tally-Smith had a sexual relationship.

"I click on it and find text messages between you and Bruce and I go, 'What the hell's this? This doesn't have anything to do with anything,'" Ramler says on the recording.

At that point, Tally-Smith brought in others to witness the conversation.

"I'm not firing you because of anything you said post-that, but because of your attitude ahead of time," she says on the recording.

Ramler said he wasn't fired until 17 days later, on Sept. 19.

"Today, your choices are either to resign, or you are being fired, and so that is completely up to you," Tally-Smith says on the recording.

"I like this job," Ramler replied. "I like the work. I'm not resigning."

Ramley's attorney, Stephen Wolnitzek, said Tally-Smith isn't telling the truth.

"She says that she fired him on September 2. Clearly, she did not fire him on September 2," Wolnitzek said. "She also said the reason she fired him was because he was black ailing her. There's nothing about blackmail in this conversation.

Tally-Smith's attorney, Luke Magan, takes a much different position.

"According to Ramler, he took these records in March of 2016 and did nothing with these records until September," Magan said. "For sixth months, he sat on these records and did nothing with them until he got fired, until he got mad at her."

Still in play is a flash drive which allegedly contains 42,000 files, possibly some involving the David Dooley murder case.

That's part of what prompted a hearing to determine whether Dooley should get a new trial. Final briefs on that are due this week.