Statement from Councilman Brent Ackerson (D-District 26)

"I have not been happy with the evidence that has come to light during these proceedings. In fact, I'm personally upset with not only Councilwoman Shanklin but also with various other persons within Metro government that taxpayer funds were allowed to be spent in the manner they have. It is clear to me that this system of how funds are allocated and monitored is flawed – and we need to correct it.

However as an attorney trained in the law and as a juror herein bound to follow the law under KRS 67C.143, it was my charge to consider the evidence and make a finding. We have deliberated and found in favor of the prosecution that Councilwoman Shanklin is guilty of willful neglect and misconduct. The next task charged to the Council Court was sentencing. The law does not mandate removal. Stupidity, ignorance of procedures, misguided intentions – these are the bases for a finding of willful neglect and misconduct.

Does stupidity, ignorance of procedures, or misguided intentions rise to the level of removing an elected official from office? Under the law they do not. As such, I do not believe that unless the evidence mandates such, that it is the duty of Metro Council to remove an elected council member from office.

The easy and safe political position is to make a round peg fit into a square hole and I have wrestled greatly with such a task. However, I cannot morally take the politically popular and easy road which neglects my duty to evaluate the entirety of applicable law.

I know that some members of our community will be unhappy with my vote but I have a sworn duty to uphold the law in its entirety. As such, I have voted my opinion and leave it to the voters of District 2 to decide how long the councilwoman shall remain in office."