Barbara Shanklin to Louisville Metro Council: Let Me Regain Your Trust

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, D-2, has released a statement after a days-long trial that ended with a Council ruling that she’d committed misconduct while performing her public duties.

Thirteen Metro Council members voted to remove Shanklin from office—one shy of the necessary number.

The findings stems from signed checks to a neighborhood organization she was involved with.

Each council person on the Council Court had to decide whether she showed misconduct or willful neglect according to the facts of the case, and whether that was enough to remove her, according to Metro Council rules.

A super-majority, or 14 council members, would have needed to vote for her removal. This week, 16 of the 20-member court said she showed misconduct or willful neglect, but only 13 council members said she should be removed. 

Click here to see WFPL’s coverage of the trial.

Here is Shanklin’s response:

Thank you all for coming here today and I apologize for not being able to respond to your calls and requests for interviews yesterday.  As you can imagine, it was a very long day and this has been a very long and trying time not only for me, but more importantly for my family, my colleagues at Metro Government, the city of Louisville and my dear friends and constituents in District 2.

First off, let me say that I am very sorry and disappointed that there has been so much division and energy spent debating my actions as District 2 Council Member.  I see now that I was too close to the programs I began with only good intentions.

I have maintained my innocence during this entire ordeal, and I am grateful that my colleagues on Metro Council have seen fit not to remove me from my Council Seat.  I am particularly pleased, that by their vote, they affirmed and confirmed the trust that my constituents showed in me by returning me to office a few short months ago while this storm raged.

I love the city of Louisville and I love the community that I am so honored to represent.  Now that we have moved past this ordeal, I know there is much work to be done. I am particularly pleased that my constituents stand before everyone today showing their support and confidence in me as I re-focus my energy on serving my community and the City of Louisville.

Clearly, I think it was shown that with the support of my colleagues and the community, I have been able to make a meaningful difference in the lives of the community I have served over the past 10 years that I have been in office.

I am saddened that the events of the past several months have tainted the good work that has been done by so many people, whose names were disparaged by the prosecutor, but I vow to you that with renewed energy, focus and passion, I am eager to continue to represent the community of Newburg. I will continue to work with my constituents to make Newburg a place where people are proud to call home and raise their families in a clean and safe environment to live and work.

To those colleagues who are upset at me, I ask you to give me a chance to regain your trust and respect by being more conscientious and diligent in observing the specific and explicit rules that govern this great Council. I will be contacting each of you as I extend myself to you as we work together to make Louisville all it can be, including openly and honestly addressing the racial divide that so many seem afraid or unwilling to address.

Devin Katayama

Devin Katayama host middays for WFPL and reports on education and other Louisville issues.

@DevinWFPL

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