Council member to chose between his job and his seat - News, Weather & Sports

Council member to chose between his job and his seat

David James David James
Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Louisville council member is pinned between the board and his badge.

"If he chooses to remain on Metro Council, he'll have to vacate his job as a police officer," Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell said Wednesday.

O'Connell said David James is in violation of Kentucky's constitution which prohibits a sworn officer for city council to also be a sworn officer for a police department. That's considered a conflict of interest according to the law.

"Your focus of your duty should be to one office, right?" O'Connell asked. "Not to multiple offices with potential conflicting situations."

But James, who was sworn in to office in 2010, maintains his job with the University of Louisville Police Department.

"He's known in the community, he's known at UofL, so it's not been a secret," James' attorney, William T. Warner said. "And why now? I think you would have to ask the people who are pushing it," he said.

The problem, O'Connell recalled, came after the County Attorney's Office was asked about the law by two other cops.

"We became aware of it when it was brought to our attention by these other two officers running for elected office," he said.

James did not agree to an interview Wednesday, but did say he was surprised. His attorney said he's not going to fight the issue.

"He's not going to make a big public, or whatever issue over it, he's going to take care of it," Warner said.

A council meeting is scheduled for Thursday evening at which James may not be allowed to cast a vote.

There was also a question of all the votes James has taken during his term as council member. The county attorney says those votes will remain valid.

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