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Small Town Police Chief Will Get His Salary in a Currency That Some Say Isn't Even Real


"That's the way he wants ... and that's the way the city is going to pay him."

Instead of a check or direct deposit into his bank account, a police chief in a small Kentucky town elected to get paid in bitcoins, the digital currency that has seen recent attention, both good and bad.

The Vicco city commission Monday approved this method of payment for Police Chief Tony Vaughn, who made a request last month, according to the Hazard Herald.

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

The Herald reported that this could be the first law enforcement official in the country to be paid in bitcoin. It also noted that it would only cover his take-home pay. All applicable taxes would be removed prior to payment.

Vaughn could start receiving his salary in bitcoin as early as the next pay period.

“They've set up the accounts for Vicco and for Tony, so it can be transferred," Vicco Mayor Johnny Cummings said, according to the newspaper. “We just want to be on top of things, and up-and-coming and more progressive as a city."

vicco on colbert In this Monday, Sept. 16, 2013 photo, Vicco, Ky., Mayor Johnny Cummings, left, and Police Chief Tony Vaughn sit in front of the city hall in the Appalachian town of Vicco, Ky.(AP)

Earlier this year, the town of Vicco got a swell of attention after appearing on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report." The town's openly gay mayor was featured in a segment satirically titled "People Who Are Destroying America." Vaughn appeared in the clip, which resulted in a flood of donations to the town.

Last week, bitcoin was up 9,000 percent for the year, selling nearly as much as gold. Bitcoin has its advocates and critics and has also been at the center of regulatory issues and criminal cases.

China on Thursday banned its banks and payment systems from handling the virtual currency. On Wednesday, German police arrested two people for illegally generating bitcoins worth more than $950,000.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

(H/T: Gizmodo)



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