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Former Kentucky Lawmaker Convicted of Bribing Mine Inspector

A federal jury in eastern Kentucky has convicted a former state lawmaker of bribing a state mine inspector.

The U.S. District Court jury in Pikeville found coal mine owner and former Democratic state Rep. W. Keith Hall of Phelps guilty after deliberating about 90 minutes Friday.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reportsthe 55-year-old Hall declined to comment as he left the courthouse with his family.

Prosecutors accused Hall of arranging for about $46,000 in bribes to former state mine inspector Kelly Shortridge.

Defense lawyer Brent Caldwell said most of the money was for legitimate coal-related business deals between the men. Caldwell said while it's not illegal, it's never a good idea for a mine owner to do business with the inspector assigned to his mines.

Shortridge pleaded guilty earlier to soliciting a bribe.