Believing district residents should decide her fate, a group of demonstrators held a rally in front of City Hall Monday to support Louisville Metro Councilwoman Judy Green, D-1, who faces expulsion from office.
Last Friday, the Metro Ethics Commission ruled that Green deliberately violated the city’s code of ethics and slapped the councilwoman with the harshest penalties including a recommendation she be removed from office. Denying any wrongdoing, Green said the panel lacked integrity and called the hearings a “sham” and “waste of taxpayer dollars.”
The Reverend Charles Elliott Jr. of King Solomon Baptist Church, who organized the rally, says Green is being singled out because she is African-American and that other city officials have made similar mistakes.
“It’s our opinion that she has not done anything wrong. We are aware that there may have been something that was unethical, but unethical doesn’t mean that it’s wrong,” he says. “It means that there was some mistakes were made in regards of how she went about it.”
While maintaining her innocence, Green has for months alluded to other members doing the same thing she was accused of in the ethics complaints. During an interview on gospel radio station WLOU 1350 AM in March, Green called out Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, D-2, for hiring a relative to work in her district office.
Green repeated the accusation that her colleagues engage in similar practices when vowing to fight to keep her seat in a recent interview.
“All of us have a stake in grants that we give organizations,” Green told WHAS-11 last Friday. “All of us want what’s best for our community. All of us vote on our own grants all the time. All of us participate in a program that we have funded. Most of us have children that participate in government funded programs.”
The Metro Council is expected to discuss the next steps later this week as it awaits the official letter of censure and reprimand against Green, but lawmakers appear to be growing tired of the councilwoman’s swipes.
“It’s easy to say other people do it too, but there have been no ethics charges that have been filed against other members of the council that were followed through with the kind of situation with Councilwoman Green,” says Democratic caucus spokesman Tony Hyatt. “And I’m at a loss to understand who those other officials are with regard to those who are allegedly “getting away with it” because if other people have done those things then formal charges should have been brought against them before now.”
Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers say they want to review the case findings before making a decision on whether to oust their colleague. But sources in City Hall have said the outside attorney hired by Council President Jim King, D-10, to review the hearings against Green has begun drafting legal documents to begin the impeachment process.
Meanwhile, Green’s staunchest supporters plan to fight against any attempt to remove her from office and question how the panel has the authority to call for Green’s ouster when she was being “Christ-like” in the district.
“There are many things that are right that may not be ethical because Jesus demonstrated that. He healed people on the Sabbath day and they had a law that you don’t do that, but Jesus was more concerned about what’s right rather than an ethical committee,” says Elliott. “And I that believe she’s been mistreated just like Jesus was mistreated.”