Ex-Bardstown mayor reaches deal with prosecutors

Updated: Jul. 9, 2018 at 12:48 PM EDT
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BARDSTOWN, KY (WAVE) - Prosecutors in Nelson County say they have reached an agreement with the former mayor of Bardstown that will keep him out of jail but also keeps him from seeking political office for the next five years.

After two-and-half-years as mayor, the Bardstown City Council unanimously voted in April 2017 to remove John Royalty from office after charges of abuse of power and targeting a political rival.

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Royalty filed the suit to appeal his removal claiming the process was unconstitutional. He said the Bardstown City Council, the body that approved and funded the investigation against him, also was the jury during the removal hearing.

Under the terms of the deal, which must still be approved by a judge, Royalty agreed to drop the lawsuit against the city and not to run for public office for five years. The Commonwealth's Attorney Office agreed to defer prosecution of Royalty on a felony perjury indictment and other misdemeanors that happened during his time in office. In addition, the City of Bardstown also agreed to drop its suit against Royalty for damages related to his actions while mayor.

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"We think the resolution is a fair one that accomplishes what is best for the City of Bardstown and its citizens," Commonwealth's Attorney Terry Geoghegan said.

If Royalty does not violate the terms of the agreement, Geoghegan said his office will not prosecute the pending charges or object to them being expunged.

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