LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

LMPD Public Integrity Unit is investigating Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin


The Louisville Metro Police Public Integrity Unit is investigating Metro Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin.

Police spokeswoman Alicia Smiley tells WDRB News the unit has been working in coordination with the city's internal auditor. She did not say whether the audit is complete, only that the auditor's office has been passing along information to LMPD as certain parts are completed.

Shanklin has come under scrutiny in recent weeks because of her participation in a tax-funded upholstery program that city financial records show benefited the councilwoman and her family.

"If you are a taxpayer, even if you are not, you should be able to use the program," said Shanklin, D - Council District 2 last month.

Shanklin fired back against critics, defending herself and a the work she did re-covering a couch for a friend during her participation in the program. For five years – from 2007 to 2011 – Shanklin oversaw an upholstery program that was initially designed to help ex-convicts learn a skill. Money for the project came from tax dollars and was funneled through Metro Corrections.

Invoices obtained by WDRB News showed more than $30,000 in tax money was spent on the program that Shanklin says was later changed for more public use.

"No one from my family benefited from this program," said Shanklin.

But she admitted her friends and relatives took part in the class, which she claims was more for public use than training ex-cons. Shanklin also said she never told her fellow Metro Council members about the change in program's focus.

"It never came back up in Metro Council so in the budget, it just rolled over," Shanklin said.

In a letter dated from November 2011, Corrections director Mark Bolton wrote the instructor, Linda Haywood, telling her "I find the program has not served a viable or sizeable number of clientele. In fact, most of the records that you have provided indicate only one or two people in the attendance per session."