Olive Hill, Ky., Mayor Danny Sparks (pictured) was arrested Wednesday night near in an elementary school parking lot for allegedly selling marijuana to an undercover police informant, reports Gawker. Sparks was charged with trafficking marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school, which is a felony. The weeks-long sting operation marks the end of an interdepartmental task force investigation in to criminal activity involving the mayor.
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After his arrest, Sparks, who has been mayor of the 2,000-plus population town since 2002, declared that his being taken in to custody was a “big mistake.” After further discussions with authorities, Sparks made the decision to resign from his post and issued the following statement to the press:
Due to a very bad mistake that I have made tonight, and have failed the trust of the good people of Olive Hill, my friends, and most of all my family, I have decided with deep regret to resign tonight as Mayor of Olive Hill. I hope that everyone will understand that I have always tried to do the very best for Olive Hill and hope that the people will understand that I will always try to continue to help in any way possible to better this City regardless of what position I may serve. What happen[ed] tonight is something I have never done before and deeply regret it and hope to move on.”
The Sparks case was launched when a series of tips began coming across the desk of the FIVECO Area Drug Enforcement Task Force (FADE), which is a coalition of five police departments.
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FADE officers also discovered an open container of alcohol which is a violation. Sparks was brought in to custody with another unnamed man who claimed he and the mayor had an ongoing relationship. FADE officers did confirm that the men had a “personal relationship” but declined to provide further information.
Charges are pending on the unnamed man.