Louisville Metro Councilwoman Judy Green, D-1, has been lobbying fellow members in an attempt to influence their decision in her pending removal hearing, according to several sources in City Hall.
A bipartisan group of five council members signed a petition to impeach the embattled city lawmaker Monday, citing the two ethics cases against Green. In the first complaint, the Ethics Commission ruled she deliberately violated the ethics ordinance and recommended her ouster. The decision in the second complaint is expected next month.
During this week’s budget meetings, however, Green has approached several members in and out of the council chambers to ask for support. Many have complained the cajoling is inappropriate to go about in the midst of hearings to revise the mayor’s spending plan. lawmakers
Councilwoman Madonna Flood, D-24, who moved to impeach Green, says the unnecessary pressure could potentially taint the process as well.
“I will remind my colleague—and I have—that this is an ongoing process and it should not be tainted by discussing this, period,” she says, adding Green had begun lobbying colleagues for support before the ethics commission made its decision last week.
The trial-like proceedings against Green could begin within 60 days, but until then she is still a voting member of the council with all rights and privileges of an elected official. Still, lawmakers who acknowledged she’s attempted to gain support are worried about the process being disrupted.
In the removal hearing, the remain council members will act as a court with subpoena power and will decide Green’s fate by a two-thirds vote.
Green showed up at City Hall Tuesday to hear budget testimony from the police and public works departments. She reportedly cornered members who have called for her removal, such as Councilman Stuart Benson, R-20, while trying to share her side of the story with others who will vote on her ouster.
“I haven’t talked to her nor has she approached me, but I have heard some attempt has been made,” says Councilman Ken Fleming, R-7. “If it is pertaining to council business in terms of the budget she is still a council member and we have to respect that. But everything else is off limits and I think it is inappropriate.”
Green could not be reached for comment, but she’s made it clear in interviews with other media outlets that she won’t go without a fight and implicated unnamed council members for violating the rules and “targeting” her as well.
“I think all members of the council and members inside City Hall should not be discussing anything to do with this case, period,” says Flood. “Because I believe there is a process and you do not want to give even the impression you prejudging something.”