Shanklin not removed from office - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Shanklin not removed from office

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Barbara Shanklin Barbara Shanklin
Aubrey Williams Aubrey Williams
David Tachau David Tachau

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Louisville Metro Council Court voted to retain Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin on the panel Wednesday night.

After a week of testimony, the council began deliberating Shanklin's fate around 10 p.m. Wednesday. 

[PREVIOUS STORY: Shanklin: How the council jurors voted]

Shanklin, who represents Louisville's 2nd District, faced two charges of misusing her council powers. Shanklin was accused of repeatedly failing to disclose conflicts of interest, intentionally deceiving fellow council members and misdirecting taxpayer money. At issue: a program funded through Metro Corrections for former criminal offenders that Shanklin was accused of running and using primarily for herself and her family. Also in question: neighborhood development grants for the Petersburg-Newburg Improvement Association. Lawyers said Shanklin ran the association and signed the checks but filed paperwork that led the Metro Council to believe otherwise.

It was revealed during often contentious testimony that the president of the Petersburg-Newburg Improvement Association lived in Shanklin's home when he applied for the funds Shanklin was accused of misusing.

One of the key witnesses during the trial for Charging Committee Prosecutor David Tachau was the city's internal auditor Ingram Quick. Quick told the council Shanklin was the only councilperson appropriating funds for a neighborhood group then turning around and writing checks out of the account.

Shanklin admitted she made mistakes but had no intent to defraud or mislead anyone. On Wednesday, Shanklin's attorney, Aubrey Williams, blamed the mistakes on sloppy bookkeeping by some of the African-American community's grassroots efforts.

Williams told the deciding Council of 20, "Is my client guilty of something? Yes, she's guilty of stupidity. She's guilty of sloppy, slipshod bookkeeping and guilty of not being conscientious to see that the forms are filled out properly and correctly" He continued, "She may be guilty of all those things, but every dime that she was responsible for going to that community was accounted for."

Tachau responded, "This was a persistent, repeated pattern of violations of disclosure obligations. It's not accidental. It's not oversite. It was not shoddy bookkeeping. It was not 'grassroots bookkeeping,'" he said.

"It's not really for me to say about that community," Tachau said. "I recognize that, but it sure is an insult to Ingram Quick to say that people can't keep good records who happen to be African-American.

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