Republican councilman responds to being called out by Democrats
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Metro council Democrats called out their republican colleagues for not working with them to decide the fate of a council member found guilty of ethics violations.
One specific council member was mentioned by name, Republican Kevin Kramer.
In Wednesday’s press conference, councilwoman Cindi Fowler brought up comments Kramer made back in February, while they were discussing looking into Anthony Piagentin’s actions.
Kramer said he doesn’t understand why she did that, because to him, nothing’s changed.
“To be called out like that by folks you considered friends is a little bit difficult to take I have to say,” Kramer said.
Surprised and disappointed.
That’s how Councilman Kramer feels after being called out by his democrat colleagues during Wednesday’s press conference.
“I would like to remind the public of comments made by one of the members of the minority caucus,” Fowler said on Wednesday.
Metro council democrats called out the Republicans for refusing to work with them on the charging committee for Anthony Piagentini.
Specifically singling out Kramer for what he said in February.
“Councilman Kramer signed on as a co-sponsor of the resolution to ask the ethics commission for an opinion,” Fowler said.
An ethics commission unanimously found Piagentini guilty for taking a high-paying job with a group he helped Metro Council send $40 million to.
A clip of Kramer saying he didn’t think Piagentini did anything wrong was played at the press conference.
“However if something is discovered and I’m wrong, then I will have to look into a camera and say, ‘I didn’t think anything was wrong and clearly I was mistaken,’” Kramer said back in February.
So what are his thoughts in November?
“I’ll stand by the statement I made in council,” Kramer said.
Kramer doesn’t feel there’s enough evidence to say whether Piagentini did anything wrong, a feeling he believes many of his colleagues share.
So as he waits for the ethics commission to release more evidence, Kramer said there’s no reason for him to be on a committee that decides punishment.
“A charging committee is when five individuals on the council believe that someone has violated the ordinance, and they’re going to file charges,” Kramer said. “I don’t think there are charges to be filed here, so there would be no reason for me to join a charging committee because I don’t think there’s anything here.”
Fowler said when a Democrat is at the center of a misconduct case, Republicans have no problem being on a charging committee.
She said now that it’s one of their own under investigation, Republicans don’t want to cooperate.
Kramer, who was on one of those committees, said none of those instances benefited Republicans.
“In all three instances, if the council were to replace somebody, they would’ve replaced somebody in the same party,” Kramer said.
However, now he’s asking if the Democrats can say the same thing.
“If you’re going to make the claim that is somehow partisan, explain to me then how for three charging committees where Republicans got no benefits out of it whatsoever, they participated. And in this instance, who are the five making the charges? And who benefits?” he asked.
Kramer said no one should be able to ignore the rules and violate ordinances, regardless of political party.
He wants more evidence before he looks into the camera and admits he was wrong.
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