Kentucky Town Agrees To Pay Police Chief In Bitcoin

Vicco, Kentucky, a town of 300 about 120 miles east of
Lexington, has agreed to their police chief’s request to
be paid in Bitcoin
. Vicco is likely the first city in the
country to offer a government employee the option of payment with a
virtual currency. 

According to the
Hazard Herald
, Police Chief Tony Vaughn appeared
before the city commission last month to request that he receive
his salary in Bitcoins rather than dollars. The commission opted to
hold off on granting Vaughn’s request in order to research the
logistics and legalities of such a move. On Monday, the commission
ruled that it would not be a problem and approved a city measure
that would allow the transactions.

“We [sic] done a checkup on it, and that’s the way he wants paid
[sic], and that’s the way the city is going to pay
him,” Commissioner Claude Branson told the Hazard

Vaughn will still pay state and federal taxes, Mayor Johnny
. The city will remove the applicable taxes
prior to depositing his pay in an online account for the city,
where it will then be transferred to Vaugh’s Bitcoin

Mayor Cummings said that the city account has been set up and
Vaughn will likely receive his first Bitcoin payment by the next
paycheck cycle. 

Vaughn told reports he was “excited
about the commision’s decision. In an interview with Business
, Vaughn
he learned about bitcoin three months ago through his son,
when he became convinced virtual currencies are the future. “I
pretty much think it will eventually take over,” he said, “or I
hope it does.”

Vaughn also said, “We’re a small town, so we’re trying to take
every progressive move we can make. So it’s just an interesting

The news comes on the coattails of several Bitcoin
breakthroughs, including the currency’s surge past a $1,000
in late November and somewhat
supportive remarks
 from Fed Chairman Ben

However, Tech Dirt’s Mike Masnick thinks the whole
thing could be little more than
a publicity stunt

Vicco got a lot of attention a few months back when it
was featured
on the Colbert Report
 for having a gay mayor and passing a
“fairness ordinance” against discrimination.

Police Chief Vaughn is among those featured in the video,
talking about how Mayor Cummings is his best friend. After that
show, the town discovered that a bunch of folks wanted
to donate money to the town

Both Cummings and Vaughn have talked about “capitalizing” on the
attention, including appearing on a reality TV show. A reality TV
show where they show off how “unusual” they are? Suddenly the idea
of a wacky police chief who gets his salary paid in Bitcoin seems
like yet another “hook”.

Perhaps supporting Masnick’s cynical interpretation, the city

plans to set up a Bitcoin account
where visitors are encouraged
to donate to help pay for local infrastructure improvement

from Hit & Run

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