Metro Council Charging Committee ready for hearing against Green

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Four of the five Metro Council members who swore out a complaint for removal of Councilwoman Judy Green (D, District 1) met for the first time Friday.

Council members Tina Ward-Pugh, Kevin Kramer, Madonna Flood and Stuart Benson, who are members of the Charging Committee gathered to discuss the next steps in their petition to remove Green for ethics violations. They notified the Metro Council Clerk they are ready to proceed with a hearing against Green.

Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, also a member of the Charging Committee, was unable to attend Friday.

The Charging Committee hired attorney Gregg Hovious, who will represent them in the proceedings.  Hovious will advise the five members on legal issues and help present the case against Green.

Ward-Pugh, Chair of the Charging Committee, said Friday all further communication will go through Hovious, "with the county attorney, the president's office or any of the other 20 council members. We just wanted to make that very clear for the public."

On Thursday, Green's attorney filed a petition in Jefferson Circuit Court, appealing the Ethics Commission ruling issued June 10, finding Green was guilty of intentional violations of the Metro's Ethics Ordinance.  Attorney Kent Wicker said in his filing that the opinion was not supported by the evidence.

However, Hovious said Friday that appeal will not affect the Charging Committee's actions.  He said he expects a hearing sometime in early August, which could last two to three days.

"It's a completely different proceeding," he said. "The Ethics Commission made its decision. This happened to follow it. This decision was not based solely on what the ethics committee did. It's just a small factor as a matter of fact."

Hovious said the case presented to the Council Court against Green will include allegations that she misused money for the Green Clean Team and used it to hire family members.  It will also include allegations she redirected grant money given to the organization 100 Black Men.  He added that allegations Green opened a credit card in her former legislative assistant's name and that she improperly handed out gift cards to constituents could also come up.

After the hearing, the remaining members of the council, minus Green, would deliberate.  It would take a 2/3 vote of those remaining members to remove Green from her office.

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