LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

Barbara Shanklin walks out of ethics hearing


Embattled Louisville Metro Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin walked out of a hearing being held to determine whether she violated council rules following accusations that she used a taxpayer-funded program to benefit her family members.

The program was supposed to help former inmates learn how to upholster furniture.

On Wednesday, the second day of the hearing, Shanklin was called to the stand to testify, but her attorney, Aubrey Williams, refused to allow her to speak, citing her Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination. He said he was concerned that someone would "put words in her mouth."

She refused to even speak her own name during the proceedings.

At one point during the proceedings, Williams instructed her, "Right now, Dr. Shanklin, get up from that table -- get up from the table -- and go home." She walked out of the hearing and into an elevator, not commenting. The hearing continued without her.

Shanklin is under fire for putting her grandson, Gary Bohler, on the city payroll as her aide even though he had outstanding warrants. Earhart says Bohler received at least one paycheck while he was incarcerated. Shanklin's also accused of being part of a neighborhood association board that sought money from the Metro Council, as well as writing checks for the Peterson/Newburg Improvement Association without disclosing her involvement to the council.

If found guilty of the ethics violations, Shanklin could be reprimanded or even removed from office. If she's cleared, no further action will be taken.