Local News Politics

A sports complex in Shawnee Park is being named to honor the late Paul Bather, a former member of the Louisville Board of Alderman and state representative.

For over a decade, Bather represented parts of west Louisville as the 12th Ward alderman before city and county governments merged. He left City Hall in 2000 and served one-term in the General Assembly before retiring.

During his career, Bather pushed for a number of projects that later came to fruition such as a downtown arena and a museum to honor boxing legend Muhammad Ali. Besides advocating for revitalizing west Louisville neighborhoods, Bather is also remembered as a supporter of the Fairness Ordinance in 1999.

But the outspoken lawmaker wasn’t without controversy either. At one point Bather was censured for lobbying on behalf of a cable TV contractor he had a business relationship with. He was also heavily criticized for flashing a deputy sheriff’s badge to get out of an out-of-state traffic ticket and for one of his children running up close to $11,000 in charges on a city-issued cellphone.

Bather moved to Houston after leaving office, where he died of pancreatic cancer in 2009 at age 62.

Councilwoman Cheri Bryant-Hamilton, D-5, initiated the renaming and announced the dedication ceremony will take place at 10:30am Friday at the corner of Market Street and Southwestern Parkway.