Louisville Metro Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin

Local News
1:55 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Louisville Ethics Commission Recommends Barbara Shanklin's Removal from Metro Council

Barbara Shanklin
Credit Louisville Metro Council

The Louisville Metro Ethics Commission recommended on Thursday that Metro Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin be removed from the Metro Council for alleged ethics violations.

Shanklin, a Democrat from District 2, faced violating five provisions of the city's ethics code, including allegations that she misused taxpayer money in relation to an upholstery training program her office supported.

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4:19 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Special Prosecutor Named in Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin's Public Integrity Case

Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin
Credit Louisville Metro Council

The Louisville Metro Ethics Commission will make a ruling on its case involving Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, D-2, this week while the criminal investigation against the embattled lawmaker is moving forward.

Shanklin is facing five charges of violating the city's code of ethics, including accusations that she misused taxpayer money in relation to an upholstery training program her office championed.

The commission has a range of options in the case, from declining any punishment to recommending Shanklin be booted from office.

It cannot bring criminal charges against the councilwoman, but a separate investigation conducted by the Louisville Metro Police's Public Integrity Unit could.

The police have finished their probe and forwarded the case to a special prosecutor, First Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Robert Schaefer.

Schaefer tells WFPL he hasn’t had a change to review the extensive caseload, including a large number of binders, an internal audit and hundreds of pages of documents, but his office is taking the case seriously.

"Obviously this case has attracted a lot of interest, and we take all the cases that we do seriously. So I’m not going to rush and put something out there before I’ve had a chance to go through it," he says.

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6:35 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Bill Granting Ethics Commission Subpoena Powers Passes House Panel

A bill giving the Louisville Metro Ethics Commission subpoena powers sailed through a state House committee on Monday.

In 2011, a report by the commission complained to the Metro Council about its inability to compel witnesses to testify. Last November, Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, D-2, put that lack of power on display when she twice walked out of her ethics hearing at the instruction of her attorney.

From The Lexington Herald-Leader:

Sen. Julie Denton, R-Louisville, said the bill was in response to alleged ethics violations of council members in Louisville.

SB 117 would give ethics committees administrative subpoena power to gather documents and compel witnesses to testify.

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7:30 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Bill Blocking Taxpayer Dollars in City Ethics Cases Clears House Panel

Democratic State Rep. Larry Clark of Louisville
Credit keeplarryclark.com

A bill requiring Louisville Metro officials and employees to pay for their own defense attorneys when charged with an ethics violation passed a state House committee by a unanimous vote.

State Rep. Larry Clark, D-Louisville, introduced the measure citing the over $180,000 in costs for two cases involving members of the Metro Council in recent years.

"I don’t think it’s fair for the taxpayers to have to pay for a lawyer for those of us in public service," Clark told WFPL earlier this week. "I think we should be held at a higher standard."

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8:30 am
Mon February 11, 2013

State Lawmaker: City Officials Shouldn't Use Taxpayer Dollars in Ethics Defense

State Rep. Larry Clark, D-Louisville
Credit keeplarryclark.com

State Representative Larry Clark, D-Louisville, has introduced a bill that would require city officials charged with an ethics violation to pay for their own attorneys.

Under the current system, Metro officials and employees can request a lawyer paid for by the city to defend them against an ethics charge. The new legislation would prohibit taxpayer dollars from being used in those cases.

Clark says citizens should not be funding the defense of ethics charges against local officials accused of violating the public trust.

"First and foremost, I don’t think it’s fair for the taxpayers to have to pay for a lawyer for those of us in public service. I think we should be held at a higher standard," he says.

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4:00 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

Judge Dismisses Shanklin Suit Against Mayor’s Office to Halt Ethics Case

Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin
Credit Louisville Metro Government

A Jefferson Circuit judge dismissed a lawsuit against Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s office filed by embattled Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, D-2, that sought to halt an ethics case against her.

The suit alleged Fischer violated Kentucky’s open records law because his office refused to provide documents explaining what authority the mayor had to close an upholstery program Shanklin sponsored.

Shanklin’s attorney Aubrey Williams asked for a temporary injunction in the ethics case until the records were produced. But Judge Audra Eckerle ruled the councilwoman would not be harmed if the ethics proceedings continued.

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5:29 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin Sues Mayor Greg Fischer Over Upholstery Program Records

Barbara Shanklin
Credit Louisville Metro Council

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin has filed suit against Mayor Greg Fischer's office.

Shanklin, D-2, is seeking public records regarding an upholstery program for ex-offenders that her office funded, which is part of a recent ethics investigation against her.

In September 2012, Shanklin requested records related to Fischer's "involvement in the investigation," and what authority the mayor's office had to close the program.

The councilwoman alleges the mayor is violating the state's open records law and depriving her of evidence needed for her defense in the ethics case.

"Basically we asked for what authority or rule or policy the mayor relied on to terminate the upholstery program," says attorney Aubrey Williams, who is representing Shanklin.

Williams is requesting the ethics commission delay its ruling until this matter is settled.

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3:00 pm
Sat November 10, 2012

Two Days of Walkouts in Shanklin Ethics Hearing

The ethics hearing of Louisville Metro Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin lasted two days — both days featuring dramatic exits by Shanklin. On the first day, Shanklin invoke her Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination, then depart at her attorney's request.

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Local News
2:50 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Barbara Shanklin Answers Some Questions in Ethics Hearing, But Again Walks Out

Credit Louisville Metro Council

The ethics hearing for Louisville Metro Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin has closed with another dramatic exit by the embattled lawmaker.

Unlike yesterday, today Shanklin answered some questions from prosecutors. She told the ethics commission she was unaware her grandson was incarcerated at the time she signed his timesheet.

But when questions were directed toward her about discretionary spending practices, she—again—walked out at the request of her attorney Aubrey Williams.

Shanklin cites her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.

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2:44 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin Walks Out on Ethics Hearing

Shanklin attorney Aubrey Williams addresses the Ethics Commission.

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, D-2, left in the middle of her own ethics hearing at the request of her attorney.

Shanklin has been accused of violating five provisions of the city’s ethics code, including using her position to benefit relatives.

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