Accused councilwoman walks out of ethics hearing - News, Weather & Sports

Accused councilwoman walks out of ethics hearing

Barbara Shanklin in the courtroom on Wednesday. Barbara Shanklin in the courtroom on Wednesday.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Metro Council member in the hot seat for possible ethics violations left a hearing Wednesday.

Barbara Shanklin, D-2nd District, left an ethics commission moments after she took an oath to testify. The councilwoman is accused of violating five sections of the city's ethics law.

Shanklin's attorney didn't want her to incriminate herself during the civil proceeding.

Attorney Aubrey Williams asked Shanklin to leave twice after Hearing Officer Ann Sheadel, in the capacity of a judge, explained her answers or lack thereof could have an impact on the commission. "This commission is allowed to make an adverse assumption regarding the answer," Sheadel said. "I am instructing her not to answer a single question," Williams said. Williams then shouted "Go home!" at Shanklin twice. The hearing continued without the councilwoman.

Prosecutor James Earhart read through questions so the commission could hear what he would've asked Shanklin if she complied.

It's unclear whether Shanklin will return for Thursday's third and final hearing.

"She's not required to be here under any authority the commission has - they have no subpoena power, they can't force her to remain if she chooses to leave," Ann Sheadel.

Shanklin, who represents the Newburg area, is being investigated on five allegations of misconduct in financial disclosures as well as nepotism.

One of the allegations was that she hired her grandson knowing he had six felony arrests.

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