Louisville Metro Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin

7:30 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Louisville Council President Jim King Wants to ‘Explore’ Disciplinary Options Against Members

Louisville City Hall
Credit Eleanor Hasken/LPM

Louisville Metro Council President Jim King is looking at ways for the legislative branch to discipline lawmakers short of their removal from office.

That's according to a legal document, obtained Monday by WFPL, that recommends alternative ways to sanction council members.

In an Aug. 18 letter to King, the county attorney found the council lacked measures to reprimand lawmakers for violating the city’s code of ethics or other rules other than expulsion.

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8:08 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

African-American Council Members, Civil Rights Group Raise Concerns Over Dan Johnson's Top Aide

Bryan Mathews (background) and Councilman Dan Johnson during Thursday's Democratic caucus meeting.
Credit Eleanor Hasken/LPM

The controversy surrounding the alleged use of a racial slur by the new legislative aide to Louisville Metro Councilman Dan Johnson boiled over into a Democratic caucus meeting Thursday evening.

Some African-American council Democrats expressed concern over Johnson aide Bryan Mathews' presence in City Hall, and one council member accused Johnson of suggesting he'd pursue an ethics complaint against a colleague in reaction to criticism of the hiring.

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6:43 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Walmart at 18th and Broadway in Louisville Expected to be Announced Monday

The former Philip Morris site at 18th and Broadway

A former Louisville Metro Councilwoman is saying a Walmart is coming to 18th and Broadway in Louisville, and an official announcement will be made Monday morning.

Denise Bentley, who left the council in 2005, posted to Facebook Friday saying "Walmart is coming to 18th and Broadway!"

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2:50 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Addressing Claims of Racial Bias in Shanklin Verdict, Councilwoman Mary Woolridge Says 'Get Over It'

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Mary Woolridge, D-3,
Credit Louisville Metro Council

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Mary Woolridge, D-3, is refusing to confirm or deny claims that she voted to retain fellow member Barbara Shanklin solely because she is an African-American woman.

But she says those who disagree with the outcome need to "get over it."

Speaking at the Louisville Forum this week, Councilman Kelly Downard, R-16, blew the whistle on the nearly three and a half hour deliberations.

Downard said Woolridge told lawmakers she would not vote again to remove a black female from office.   

"If I turned to you and I say ‘I will never vote to expel a white man from the Metro Council’ what thoughts did you just have? Anger? Revulsion? That happened in the deliberation room," Downard said. "One of the members of my Metro Council said I will never vote to remove an African-American woman from this council."

Downard later confirmed with WFPL that council member was Woolridge.

Some have pointed to a racial divide regarding the case both in in the community and on the council since the verdict.

It has been noted that all of the black council members voted to keep Shanklin in office despite some lawmakers such as Democrat David James denying race had anything to do with the decision.

Woolridge sidestepped questions about whether her vote was based on race and she refused to address the matter further.

"Dr. Shanklin was exonerated and the council needs to move ahead. Everybody ought to get over it including Kelly Downard and anybody else that has a problem with it," she says. "She got the amount of votes that she needed to remain on the council."

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1:30 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Louisville Metro Councilman David James Defends Vote in Shanklin Removal Trial

David James talks to reporters on Tuesday.
Credit Joseph Lord/WFPL News

Louisville Metro Councilman David James said he believes Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin "made many mistakes" in the events that led to her removal trial last month, but that she hadn't acted to profit herself or her family.

James spoke to reporters Tuesday to expand on why he voted against removing Shanklin from the Metro Council. 

James, a Democrat whose Sixth District stretches from Old Louisville to the California neighborhood, said he's still found himself discussing the Aug. 1 decision, and he's concerned that race has become an element of those conversations.

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Local News
1:12 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

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

Credit Louisville Metro Council

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.

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Local News
3:27 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Barbara Shanklin to Stay on Louisville Metro Council, Opposition Calls Decision ‘Embarrassing'

Council members that supported Shanklin's removal address the media following deliberations.

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, D-2, will keep her job despite a majority of her peers saying that she showed misconduct while performing her public duties. Those council members who supported her removal now say the integrity of the local government has been compromised.

Shanklin’s removal trial challenged whether she showed misconduct or willful neglect by her involvement in an ex-offender program she helped set up and by directing public funds to a neighborhood group she was involved with. 

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10:05 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Councilwoman Shanklin's Defense Attorney Grills City Officials Over Upholstery Program Details

Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin
Credit Louisville Metro Government

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin’s defense attorney forced city officials to concede key points about an upholstery program at the center  her removal trial.

Shanklin is accused of misusing taxpayer dollars to benefit herself and her relatives through classes promoted towards ex-offenders, which records show she attended over a dozen times.

Attorney David Tachau is prosecuting the case and has called the upholstery courses a "phony" that Shanklin and her family members used for their own benefit rather than district residents.

Corrections Director Mark Bolton, who had described the program as "goofy," told juror halting it in November 2011 was a "no-brainer" given the lack of former inmates involved. But during cross-examination Shanklin's defense attorney Aubrey Williams rattled Bolton, who admitted the department's agreement with the course instructor didn't limit participation to ex-offenders.

Williams says the contract was vague and Bolton’s department was sloppy in that it established few rules, which shows the issues with the program were the city's fault and not Shanklin.

He also got Bolton to admit that the corrections director continued to sign-off on the program's pay invoices for three years despite knowing ex-offenders weren’t involved.

"Please explain why if you had determined that these funds were not being used for their intended purpose would you approve their payments," Williams asked.

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Local News
6:00 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Louisville Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin's Ethics Trial Focuses On Record Keeping, Transactions

Credit Louisville Metro Council

Louisville Metro’s internal auditor says there were two questions he considered when reviewing the relationship between Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin and the ex-offender program she helped oversee: did her relatives benefit and was there double billing?

Ingram Quick was the second witness to testify for Shanklin’s removal trial since it began Monday. The Council Court--made up of 20 council members who act as jury--will decide whether she can stay on the Metro Council.

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3:56 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Louisville Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin Ran 'Phony' Program, Says Prosecutor

Democratic Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin
Credit Louisville Metro Council

The prosecuting attorney in Louisville Metro Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin's removal trial says the Democratic lawmaker ran a "phony" ex-offenders program that served no public purpose other than to intentionally and persistently deceive the city.

But Shanklin's defense lawyer argues the councilwoman did nothing wrong and the prosecution's key witness is the one under criminal suspicion of taking public funds.

Shanklin faces two charges that she deliberately violated the city’s code of ethics.

The councilwoman is accused misusing public funds for an upholstery program meant for former inmates that mostly she and her relatives attended, and improperly controlling grants awarded to the Petersburg-Newburg Improvement Association.

At the heart of both opening statements were allegations made by upholstery instructor Linda Haywood, who told investigators Shanklin would often pay her in advance using the group's account. However, Haywood said she would reimburse the councilwoman in cash.

Attorney David Tachau is representing the charging committee. He says financial records show Haywood was paid by both Metro Corrections and the neighborhood group for teaching the same classes, but that the taxpayers were never reimbursed

"We know that Linda Haywood was paid twice $2,300 in a program Barbara Shanklin said was her program and that Haywood said she paid her back," he says. "Either Linda Haywood is not telling the truth, and she kept the money, which means that Barbara Shanklin allowed a government vendor to double dip from taxpayer funds in the program she was overseeing. Or Linda Haywood is telling the truth, and Barbara Shanklin pocketed more than $2,300."

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