The Louisville Metro Police Department is launching a criminal investigation regarding Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, D-2, and the financial management of her office.

The Public Integrity Unit has been working closely with the internal auditor’s office to determine if a formal probe was necessary. The auditor is examining an upholstery program for ex-offenders that served several of Shanklin's relatives instead.

A state watchdog group filed an ethics complaint against Shanklin based upon reports in The Courier-Journal that the lawmaker had used city funds to benefit her family members.

Louisville attorney Aubrey Williams, who is member of Mayor Greg Fischer's violence prevention task force, is representing Shanklin. He has not responded to our request for comment.