Barbara Shanklin’s Official Statement Released

Please, folks, hold your laughter. Barbara Shanklin has released an official statement:

Thank you all for coming here today and I apologize for not being able to respond to your calls and requests for interviews yesterday. As you can imagine, it was a very long day and this has been a very long and trying time not only for me, but more importantly for my family, my colleagues at Metro Government, the city of Louisville and my dear friends and constituents in District 2.

First off, let me say that I am very sorry and disappointed that there has been so much division and energy spent debating my actions as District 2 Council Member. I see now that I was too close to the programs I began with only good intentions.

I have maintained my innocence during this entire ordeal, and I am grateful that my colleagues on Metro Council have seen fit not to remove me from my Council Seat. I am particularly pleased, that by their vote, they affirmed and confirmed the trust that my constituents showed in me by returning me to office a few short months ago while this storm raged.

I love the city of Louisville and I love the community that I am so honored to represent. Now that we have moved past this ordeal, I know there is much work to be done. I am particularly pleased that my constituents stand before everyone today showing their support and confidence in me as I re-focus my energy on serving my community and the City of Louisville.

Clearly, I think it was shown that with the support of my colleagues and the community, I have been able to make a meaningful difference in the lives of the community I have served over the past 10 years that I have been in office.

I am saddened that the events of the past several months have tainted the good work that has been done by so many people, whose names were disparaged by the prosecutor, but I vow to you that with renewed energy, focus and passion, I am eager to continue to represent the community of Newburg. I will continue to work with my constituents to make Newburg a place where people are proud to call home and raise their families in a clean and safe environment to live and work.

To those colleagues who are upset at me, I ask you to give me a chance to regain your trust and respect by being more conscientious and diligent in observing the specific and explicit rules that govern this great Council. I will be contacting each of you as I extend myself to you as we work together to make Louisville all it can be, including openly and honestly addressing the racial divide that so many seem afraid or unwilling to address.

She must not realize that only seven people chose to keep her. 13 voted against her and the members of the charging committee also wanted to vote. Still delusional? No one will ever know – we can only assume.

So let’s go ahead and assume she’s dumber than a box of rocks. Only one of the many reasons being because she still believes she proved her case despite being found guilty.

Possibility City!

Light Rail? In Louisville? Haha, Keep On Dreaming

One man is dead after a high speed pursuit in Shelby County. Police have identified the victim as 29-year-old Marcus A. Slone of Brandenburg, Ky. [WDRB]

The Louisville Metro Council’s decision to allow Barbara Shanklin to remain in office “has severely damaged the public’s view of the entire Metro Council,” the five members who brought charges against her said in a statement. [C-J/AKN]

The Black Leaf Chemical site in West Louisville was home to numerous pesticide manufacturing companies up until the 1970s. The EPA discovered the soil was contaminated three years ago. [WHAS11]

Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and his major Democratic opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes, will take the same stage Saturday for the first time as rivals in next year’s U.S. Senate race in Kentucky. [H-L]

Louisville Metro Police have joined with the family of a recent homicide victim to ask for your help to solve the murder. Homicide detectives along with family members of Christopher Colbert issued a plea to the public to help find his killer. [WAVE3]

Steve Beshear’s son is representing the company that has proposed building a natural gas liquids pipeline across Kentucky. The Bluegrass Pipeline is a joint venture between two companies—Boardwalk Pipeline Partners and Williams—and if it’s built, it’ll transport the byproducts of natural gas drilling from the northeast to the Gulf of Mexico. [WFPL]

It took several hours of deliberations and discussion, but Barbara Shanklin will keep her Louisville Metro Council seat. Reaction was heated after the vote early Thursday morning, and it’s that kind of reaction that some members hope brings change. [WLKY]

Jerry Miller is absolutely not happy about the Barbara Shanklin corruption trial outcome. [Click the Clicky]

Work is getting under way on an $80 million project to convert the Hilliard Lyons Center, downtown at Fourth Street and Muhammad Ali Boulevard, into a mixed-use project anchored by an Embassy Suites hotel. [Business First]

Some of the children were killed, while others were left severely injured — shaken, beaten, neglected at the hands of parents or others charged with their care. [C-J/AKN]

Imagine getting on a light rail car and taking a short ride to Louisville from Southern Indiana for lunch. Or even more exciting, flying over the Ohio River on a zipline from one river bank to the other. [News & Tribune]

Corrupt Education Chief Is Taking A Big Hike

This comes as a surprise to absolutely no one in light of the latest scandal:

Tony Bennett is expected to resign Thursday as Florida education commissioner following two days of raging controversy over a school grading controversy in his home state of Indiana.

Remember him?

We first introduced you to Bennett in November and December 2009. At the time, he was blowing our phones up, flooding us with email, driving Francene crazy. We knew he had something to hide but couldn’t pin point it.

Now we know why so many corrupt things went on with Greater Clark County Schools. Because old dude was more crooked than Judy Green and Barbara Shanklin combined.

JCPS is probably relieved to have the focus on Indiana for a minute.

You’re Glad That Damn Ethics Mess Is Over

The trial for a Louisville teen accused of murdering his step-brother began Wednesday morning. Prosecutors argue they believe Joshua Young helped his father kill 14-year-old Trey Zwicker. [WDRB]

After a six-day trial and 3 ½ hours of deliberations, the Metro Council Court found Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin guilty of misconduct but lacked enough votes to remove her early today. [C-J]

You can check out the vote tally and a few statements in our post from late last night. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Churchill Downs will add nearly 2,400 grandstand seats that include a rooftop VIP lounge area as part of a $14.5 million project unveiled Tuesday, the latest leg in a series of expansions to maximize revenue from the Kentucky Derby. [WHAS11]

A top secret National Security Agency program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden. [The Guardian]

A new surgery performed in Louisville is helping patients with brain aneurysms that were previously thought to be untreatable. [WLKY]

A Kentucky judge is seeking input from the state attorney general’s office before deciding whether a law exempting spouses from testifying against each other applies to two women in a civil union from Vermont. [H-L]

An arrest has been made in the early morning stabbing of a teen in south Louisville. [WAVE3]

In Kentucky’s 2010 Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, the national party stayed out until after Jack Conway defeated Daniel Mongiardo. This time around, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee already is gearing up to help Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes challenge to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. — even though she is in a primary with three other Democrats. [C-J/AKN]

If you missed it, Matt Bevin has been endorsed by an organization that’s published some of the most racist garbage we’ve ever seen. [Page One]

Cameron Funkhouser heads a spy agency that most Americans never knew existed. His operation is based in a nondescript beige building in the leafy suburbs outside Washington. [LA Times]

The transition from Insight to Time Warner happened more than a month ago, but some Southern Indiana residents are still complaining of spotty service and difficulties making phone calls. [News & Tribune]

Metro Council 1 Vote Short Of Shanklin Ouster

Here’s what the Charging Committtee (Jerry Miller, Madonna Flood, Tina Ward-Pugh, Vickie Aubrey Welch, James Peden) had to say about the Metro Council decision to keep Barbara Shanklin on board:

Seven members of the Metro Council Court weighed the evidence and made a determination that the well documented wrongdoing and unwarranted benefit received by Councilwoman Shanklin and her family did not require her removal from office. Needless to say, we disagree with the decision. We fully anticipate the constituents of these members will remember tonight’s decision.

The Ethics Commission, without the benefit of subpoena power, unanimously recommended removal of Councilwoman Shanklin. We, the Charging Committee did our duty to the Community by bringing these charges. While this decision allows her to stay on the Council, we believe this episode has severely damaged the public’s view of the entire Metro Council. We hope that one day; the Council can recover the respect of its electorate.

We wish to thank our attorney, David Tachau for the thorough job he did under extremely difficult circumstances. We express our appreciation for Council President and Court Chair Jim King for the evenhanded way he attempted to keep control of the proceedings. We would also like to thank Richard Beliles who filed the initial charges, the members of the Ethics Commission and their attorney Deborah Kent for their work.

Regardless of the Council Court’s decision tonight, we feel that this entire difficult process demands a renewed obligation for Metro Council to completely overhaul the process of amending the budget and especially the process of appropriating NDF (Neighborhood Development Funds) grants. We commit to holding our colleagues to a higher standard than that to which the Council Court held Councilwoman Shanklin.

We, the members of the Charging Committee, commit to the people of Metro Louisville that we will work tirelessly to prevent anything like this from bringing further dishonor on this Council and community.

They found her guilty of misconduct but did not remove her from office because they were one vote short.

13 people voted to remove her:

  • Tom Owen
  • Robin Engel
  • Kevin Kramer
  • Cindi Fowler
  • Marilyn Parker
  • Kelly Downard
  • David Yates
  • Ken Fleming
  • Jim King
  • Rick Blackwell
  • Marianne Butler
  • Glen Stuckel
  • Stuart Benson

Those who voted to keep her:

  • David Tandy
  • David James
  • Attica Scott
  • Dan Johnson
  • Mary Woolridge
  • Cheri Bryant Hamilton
  • Brent Ackerson

What’s telling, really, is that Ackerson, Tandy and Scott voted that they found Shanklin guilty of misconduct and still voted to keep her on council.

The four people who didn’t even believe she was guilty of misconduct:

  • David James
  • Dan Johnson
  • Mary Woolridge
  • Cheri Bryant Hamilton

We’re guessing they won’t have much fun during re-election season. Tandy, because he has had so many run-ins of his own with corruption (Cordish).

James, because he released this statement:

Councilwoman Shanklin has been a remarkable colleague in the years that I have been serving on the Louisville Metro Council. While Dr. Shanklin may not have exercised the best judgment in her actions leading to this hearing, she did not intentionally violate our ethics policy warranting a removal. Our ruling tonight was an exercise in self-governance where my colleagues and I listened intently to both sides and the evidence that was presented, ultimately concluding that she did nothing warranting removal from her position where she has tirelessly served her community for years. Now that this process is over, it is time for all of us on the Council to move forward and continue to work to serve the interests of the citizens Louisville Metro.

And spent the entire trial asking leading questions that were as ignorant and excusing as the questions Mary Woolridge asked. Particularly in light of statements like this from Brent Ackerson:

We have deliberated and found in favor of the prosecution that Councilwoman Shanklin is guilty of willful neglect and misconduct. The next task charged to the Council Court was sentencing. The law does not mandate removal. Stupidity, ignorance of procedures, misguided intentions – these are the bases for a finding of willful neglect and misconduct.

Does stupidity, ignorance of procedures, or misguided intentions rise to the level of removing an elected official from office? Under the law they do not.

Also probably won’t be a fun re-election for Shanklin, should she decide to run again.

If you didn’t watch that circus of a trial, go do so on Metro Government’s website ASAP.