Shanklin takes stand in her council removal hearing - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Shanklin takes stand in her council removal hearing

Posted: Updated:
Barbara Shanklin Barbara Shanklin
When her ethics trial wraps up, 20 of her fellow council members will have to decide if she violated two sections of the Metro ethics rules and if she should be removed from office. When her ethics trial wraps up, 20 of her fellow council members will have to decide if she violated two sections of the Metro ethics rules and if she should be removed from office.
David Tachau David Tachau

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - If Metro Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin's removal trial was testy last week, animosity poured from it Monday.

The Newburg councilwoman took the stand as her fellow council members try to decide if she violated ethics rules and should be kicked out of office.

At times, the testimony needed a referee, David Tachau, the lawyer representing the members charging her, and the councilwoman argued frequently, with Shanklin's own lawyer, Aubrey Williams, often jumping in.

SHANKLIN: You want to talk about what you want to talk about and I'm sorry … I mean, I just have to be me. You've got to accept me for me.

TACHAU: Well this is a removal proceeding, ma'am. We don't have to accept you for you.

SHANKLIN: If it's a removal and you find me guilty but I don't see where I'm going … to find me guilty.

TACHAU: Well, I can't put the evidence in if you don't answer my questions ma'am.

Shanklin complained Tachau was badgering her, prompting this exchange with Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell, who is advising council president Jim King, the hearing chair on the proceeding.

O'CONNELL: You are on the stand, sitting as what one might refer to as a hostile witness, even though it's during his case. You understand that?

SHANKLIN: I assume we already knew that I would be a hostile witness.

The fighting slowed Monday's testimony, which mainly was about the ex-offender upholstery program. Shanklin is charged with setting up and directing that program, largely to the benefit of herself and her family. She said that anyone was welcome to attend and the definition of an "ex-offender" is broad.

SHANKLIN: An ex-offender, if you've offended a law, you're an ex offender.

TACHAU: Any law?

SHANKLIN: Any law. Not one time in that whole program, did it say you had to have a felony, that you had to be a murderer or anything. It said, ex offender.

TACHAU: Speeding?

SHANKLIN: Speeding. I had a ticket. I had to go to court. I had to go to classes. I'm an ex offender.

Shanklin said that although she liked upholstery and sewing and at times taught the class, she never benefited financially from the program. She was surprised, she said, about extra money in the Metro budget for the program. Shanklin said that she only reads the budget before she votes on it some years, when there are programs that benefit her community.

She said that's the kind of council person she is: one that's not interested in funding but in grass roots efforts in her community.

Her testimony is expected to continue Tuesday.

When her ethics trial wraps up, 20 of her fellow council members will have to decide if she violated two sections of the Metro ethics rules and if she should be removed from office.

 

If you want to review some of the key points today, follow @JanelleWAVE on Twitter.

Copyright 2013 WAVE News. All rights reserved.