LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

Metro Council asks for clarity on removal of members


With all the controversy surrounding Councilwoman Dr. Judy Green, (D) District 1, members of the Louisville Metro Council for the first time this week asked for clarification on how to remove a council member.

Green is accused of mismanaging money for a summer jobs program and hiring her family. An internal audit found a lack of documentation of how the money was spent.

Now the Metro Ethics Commission will hear the case and the council is asking what to do if it finds against Green.

"You alluded to removal from office," Council President Jim King, (D) District 10, asked the county attorney at Tuesday's Committee on Committees meeting, "that is obviously, I guess an option, how does that work if it did rise to that level?"

Majority Caucus Communications Director Tony Hyatt says don't read too much into those questions. The council is just trying to be prepared.

"I think you have a lot of folks who are really waiting for the results of the ethics commission before they decide," Hyatt said.

The ethics commission can either rule Green did or did not violate the Metro's ethics ordinance and, at maximum, impose a $500 fine. Any further penalties, including reprimand or removal, would have to come from the council.

"There's never been a situation where the Metro Council has been faced with the possibility of removing someone from office," said Hyatt.

According to Hyatt, a council member can be removed after either the mayor brings a charge of misconduct to the council or five members of the council swear out an oath charging misconduct. The council would then have to hold a hearing and two-thirds of the members must vote in favor of removal.

Whether Green's case will ever get that far is still a long way from clear.

"When it comes to a formal charge of misconduct or hint of malfeasance or misfeasance, the council has never had to deal with it," Hyatt said. "We are sort of on brand new territory here."

The Metro Ethics Commission next meets March 17, which is the earliest it could consider Green's case. A ruling would be several weeks later.

A spokesman for Mayor Greg Fischer said the mayor wants all the facts to come in before making any comments or moves.