District 21 has a new Metro Council representative, nearly a month after Councilman Dan Johnson was removed.
Vitalis Lanshima was sworn in at Thursday’s Metro Council meeting as Johnson’s replacement. Lanshima will serve out the rest of Johnson’s term, which runs through the end of 2018.
He is an adjunct professor at Bellarmine University who grew up in Nigeria and was a Paralympic athlete. His issues include economic development and creating safe neighborhoods, according to his website.
An emotional Lanshima addressed the Metro Council following the vote.
“I want to thank you for the confidence you’ve put in me,” he said. “I don’t take this responsibility lightly, not at all.”
The District 21 seat, and all odd-numbered Metro Council seats, are up for election next year. The next full term begins in January 2019.
Johnson vacated his seat in November following allegations of sexual harassment. He had served in public office since 1991, when he joined the Board of Alderman. He was elected to the Metro Council in 2002, and represented the areas in and around Southside, Beechmont and the airport.
The Council considered more than a dozen candidates for the open position. The annual salary for the position is $47,833.