Turmoil in Prospect City Council includes claims that mayor's memory is 'deteriorating'

PROSPECT, KY (WAVE) - Several Prospect City Council members are pushing for an investigation into Mayor John Evans.

Some members asked him to resign in May, but he refused and says he still has no plans to do so.

In a resolution introduced a few days later asking for an investigation into his behavior, Evans was accused of improper conduct and comments.

The resolution passed the first reading with a vote of 4-2. Council members Stuart Miles, Susan Nicholson, Luke Schmidt and Jeff Stovall voted yes. Sandra Leonard and Frank Fulcher voted no.

The resolution cites an alleged "deteriorating loss of memory" that has resulted in confusion for city staff and council members.

Evans also is accused of having significant mood swings, shouting matches, and making hurtful comments around city employees. Council member Luke Schmidt said the claims were brought to the council members by city employees, and they have no choice but to follow up with them.

"None of us are happy about this," Schmidt said. "We'd all be doing other things."

At Monday's council meeting, two budgets for next year were introduced, one of which includes the funding for the investigation.

"At first, I was kind of down and kind of anxious, but the more this goes on, the madder it makes me," Evans said.

Evans denies most of the allegations. He admitted that some of the incidents were true but grossly overstated. One of Evans' admissions was that he called someone a "Damn Jew."

He said he was aware at the time that it was wrong, and apologized to the city employee he said it to. She has since written a letter in support of him.

In response to the allegations that his memory is suffering, Evans said it's nonsense, adding that he has the medical proof to back it up. He said he was recently tested by a psychometrist at Vanderbilt who found his cognition, reasoning, and memory skills to be functioning very highly. Evans denied speaking poorly of current council members, and denied accusing Schmidt's wife of being on drugs.

He admitted he spoke poorly of former Mayor Lonnie Falk's health, but he also said he stands by his words.

Evans said he was unaware that members of the City Council had so many problems with him until the May meeting that ended with several members walking out after a heated discussion.

Around a dozen community members attended Monday's meeting defending Evans and accused the council members behind the resolution of dirty politics. The four council members who voted in favor said on the record that it's not a political move, and promised they wouldn't run to replace Evans.

The investigation into the allegations would be done by an outside agency and could cost the city $25,000.

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