Council Court to Set Date for Green Expulsion Trial

by admin on July 21, 2011

For the second time in less than a week, the Louisville Metro Council Court that will preside over the removal trial of impeached Councilwoman Judy Green, D-1, will convene Thursday to vote on a final hearing date.

Last month, council members Barbara Shanklin, D-2, Tina Ward-Pugh, D-9, Kevin Kramer, R-11, Stuart Benson, R-20, and Madonna Flood, D-24, filed misconduct charges against Green stemming from two complaints that alleged she violated the city’s code of ethics.

On Monday, the remaining lawmakers took an oath to sit as jurors and chose two possible hearing dates in early August, but attorney Derwin Webb, who is representing Green, objected to the scheduling process and questioned the fairness of that decision.

In a telephone interview, Court Chairman Kelly Downard, R-16, told WFPL he has received a request and the panel will likely provide additional time.

“We’ve got 20 people involved here and that makes it difficult to pull all that together. Then we also have two attorneys and we have a respondent and a charging committee who wants to try to attend,” he says. “I don’t know that we can ever do anything that will befit everyone’s needs 100 percent, but we’re going to try to do the best we can.”

Attorney Gregg Hovious, who will prosecute the case, said he is ready to begin, but that Green is trying to delay the hearing and has had plenty of time to prepare a defense. When the court met Monday, Webb told lawmakers he wanted the proceedings pushed back to late September, but that was unacceptable to most members.

“There is no way in the world to pick a hearing date that will be to everyone’s liking. It is impossible to do that, I think,” says Downard. “And so this is going to be a little more difficult but we’re going to do the best we can.”

Several sources in City Hall have confirmed the trial will likely be set for August 22.

Last month, the Metro Ethics Commission ruled Green deliberately violated the ethics ordinance in two separate cases for her handling of a city-funded summer jobs program and rerouting funds through a non-profit group without the council’s knowledge. The panel recommended Green’s ouster, but she has appealed both decisions in Jefferson Circuit Court.

A two-thirds vote of the members present at the beginning of the trial proceedings is required to remove Green from office. If expelled, she would be the first elected official remove in Metro Government history.

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