Western Kentucky coal executive receives pardon from Trump

Western Kentucky coal executive receives pardon from Trump

MORGANFIELD, Ky. (WFIE) - Among the list of individuals who received a full pardon from President Donald Trump during his final days in office included a Union County coal executive.

Ken Ford, the general manager of River View Coal in Morganfield, was pardoned for a 2003 conviction where he pled guilty to making false statements to federal mining officials. He was sentenced to three years of probation. That was later brought down to one year.

River View is a subsidiary of Alliance Coal.

The White House’s official statement about Ford’s pardon is provided in the following text:

President Trump granted a full pardon to Ken Ford, a 38-year veteran of the coal industry and currently the General Manager of a coal company. Mr. Ford’s pardon is supported by members of the coal mining community, including those with extensive experience in mining operations, safety, and engineering, who describe Mr. Ford as a “model manager” who conducts himself with the utmost professionalism and integrity. Twenty years ago, Mr. Ford made a material misstatement to Federal mining officials. Mr. Ford pled guilty and served a sentence of 30 years’ probation. In the decades since, Mr. Ford has been an upstanding member of his community and has used this experience and his decades of expertise to keep miners safe, including promoting truthfulness and integrity with Federal mining officials, for whom Mr. Ford states that he has the “utmost respect.”

14 News reached out to Alliance Coal about the announcement of Ford’s pardon, and company officials provided the following statement:

Today is a special day in the life of Ken Ford. We share in his job and hope everyone will join us in congratulating Ken for his persistence and courage to overcome a decision he made many years ago - a decision that has haunted him ever since.

Twenty years ago, and while working elsewhere in the coal industry, Ken Ford made a mistake and paid the price, which included being sentenced to probation and paying a monetary fine. Ken acknowledged and accepted the consequences of his actions, learned from his mistake, and grew as a person. Ken worked tirelessly to earn back so diligently in pursuit of that goal that he rose to industry prominence as the general manger of one of our competitors, long before joining our ARLP family. His commitment to and expertise in the coal industry is second-to-none.

In April 2012, Ken was hired as the General Manager of River View Coal, LLC, where he has proven to be an effective and respected leader of one of the largest workforces in Kentucky. The president’s pardon power is designed to show mercy and afford a second chance to people just like Ken, and we are grateful that President Trump saw the wisdom in granting him a pardon. Ken had worked on his pardon application for many years, and we — along with many others — were proud to support it.

Ford also released the following statement:

I am grateful for President Trump’s pardon, and for the people who advocated for me. I made a mistake 20 years ago and have worked every day to make amends for that mistake and to restore the trust of my friends and colleagues in the coal industry. I wish to express gratitude to everyone in my family, at Alliance Coal, and in the industry I love for standing by me as I worked for many years to prove myself worthy of this pardon.

I’ve learned many lessons through all of this, and one of them is that America is a great country where you can rise again after making a mistake, as long as you acknowledge and atone for that mistake with an honest heart.

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