Louisville's Council Court Sets Removal Trial Date For Barbara Shanklin
The hearing date has been scheduled for the removal trial of embattled Louisville Metro Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, but not without her attorney Aubrey Williams’ claiming the process by which Shanklin is being tried is illegal.
The Council Court met Monday for the first time as a court since late councilwoman Judy Green’s removal trial in 2011. Louisville’s Ethics Commission found Shanklin guilty of violating several provisions of the city’s ethics code earlier this year. Following procedural matters, including naming Councilman Kelly Downard to serve in Councilman Jim King’s absence as court chair, Williams addressed the court and argued the city's removal process was unjust and unlawful. Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell, who also serves as the court’s general counsel, told Williams the two hearings are completely separate. “This is an entirely different statutory proceedings, Mr. Williams, that in no way is contingent upon or is conditioned upon anything the ethics commission did,” he said. Williams tried to better understand the difference between the Ethics Commission and Council Court hearings, and questioned whether the council was making the best use of taxpayer money. “It seems to me that the what you’re saying is the Ethics Commission’s work and the work that we did in defending against the action that they took was an entire waste of time, of my time, my clients time, or taxpayers money," he said. Williams was told he could write a written complaint to the Council Court for consideration, which he said he plans to do. The court approved a hearing schedule beginning July 23. The hearing could last a few days.