Councilwoman walks out of ethics hearing again - News, Weather & Sports

Councilwoman walks out of ethics hearing again

Barbara Shanklin Barbara Shanklin

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Metro councilwoman walked out again while being questioned during a hearing surrounding allegations she violated city ethics laws.

Barbara Shanklin, D-2nd District, left during a proceeding Wednesday. She also walked out during Thursday's third and final hearing when the prosecutor fired follow up questions.

Prosecutor James Earhart pressed Shanklin about alleged misuse of government money. Earhart questioned Shanklin about Neighborhood Development Funds.

Shanklin helped launch Petersburg/Newburg Improvement Association. The councilwoman is accused of using her position to secure "unwarranted privileges."

Her attorney, Aubrey Williams, interrupted the proceeding and directed Shanklin to leave the premises and "go home" because there was an apparent agreement the prosecution would not reiterate questions directed to Shanklin already asked during Wednesday's hearing.

Before she left Thursday, Shanklin confirmed her signature was on her grandson's time sheet that was submitted to Metro government payroll while he was incarcerated. Gary Bohler was in jail on drug charges in 2005 when he claimed hours worked in Shanklin's office.

Shanklin's refusal to answer questions could have an impact on the Ethics Commission. Hearing Officer Ann Sheadel informed commission members they can assume the answers would have been adverse to Shanklin's defense if there's evidence to support the prosecution.

Shanklin is accused of violating five sections of the ethics law. The commission is expected to inform Metro Council of its recommendation in March 2013. Possible consequences include being removed from office, a reprimand, censure or nothing at all.

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