The trial to remove impeached Louisville Metro Councilwoman Judy Green, D-1, is expected to begin sometime in August and the five-member charging committee met Thursday to go over procedural matters leading up to the hearing. But Green’s attorney says the removal proceedings should be delayed until her ethics hearings are finished.
Last month, a bipartisan group of city lawmakers signed a petition to oust Green from office after the Metro Ethics Commission ruled she intentionally violated the city’s ethics ordinance in connection to a summer jobs program. Earlier this month, the ethics panel ruled against Green in a second complaint that she broke the ethics law by rerouting funds through a nonprofit group without the council’s knowledge.
The council committee questioned Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell about how the trial would run, where it would be held and what powers the court would retain.
Attorney Gregg Hovious, who is representing the charging committee members against Green, said the hearing should begin in early August, but Green’s attorney told WFPL the trial needs to be postponed until the councilwoman’s appeal to the ethics commission’s first decision is complete.
“We should proceed with caution right now. I believe that there are some other facts we’re still trying to develop and we’re trying to get discovery on where the case needs to go,” says Derwin Webb, who is representing Green. “I would believe that we all need to proceed with caution before we rush to judgment and put her in the situation or the council in the position that we can’t really slow down from.”
However, O’Connell says the trial shouldn’t linger and the timeline for the proceedings is set to begin “sometime in August.” Webb plans to file a written response to the misconduct charges this week and says despite speculation, his client has no plans to step down.
“There hasn’t been a discussion of her resigning or leaving the office,” says Webb. “I know that Dr. Green is a fighter and she wants to have an opportunity to retain her seat and also represent the people that placed her in that office.”
The remaining 20 lawmakers will make up the council court and will convene next Monday at 3 p.m. to be sworn in by the county attorney, appoint court officers and schedule meeting dates. The court will decide Green’s fate by a two-thirds vote.