The Louisville Metro Council received the official findings from the removal trial of former Councilwoman Judy Green on Thursday and officially declared the District 1 seat vacant.
Earlier this month, city lawmakers voted unanimously to oust Green from office due to two separate charges of misconduct. She is the first elected official removed in Metro Government history.
The council has 30 days to interview applicants and deliberate on selecting a replacement by a majority vote. The council clerk’s office began accepting letters of interest and resumes Thursday afternoon and will do so until the deadline, which is the close of business on Wednesday, September 28th at 5:00 p.m.
Council President Jim King, D-10, says the replacement process will put the district’s issues back at forefront and put the controversy surrounding Green behind them all.
“Now that the Metro Council can put this situation behind us, we have a responsibility to the citizens of District 1 to ensure the best candidate is selected,” he says. “We will use these next 30 days to thoroughly review the candidates in determining who best can move the district forward.”
State law requires that individuals interested in applying for the District 1 seat must be 21 years of age, willing to submit to a background check, be a qualified voter and a resident of the district at least one year prior to being appointed by the council.
Retired police officer Ray Barker, Sr., who filed the initial ethics complaint against Green in January, has already announced he will seek the seat.
The prospective candidates are likely to be quizzed on a number of fronts, and Green’s successor will face a number of immediate challenges, from getting the district past her ethics scandal to learning how District 1 will be redrawn.
State Rep. Reginald Meeks, D-Louisville, whose legislative district in the Jefferson County Democratic Party covers parts of District 1, is hosting a forum for candidates interested in applying for the seat.
He says neighborhood groups want input on Green’s replacement and the meeting is a chance for residents to size-up any prospective candidates.
“Residents of District 1 deserve and need and must have a representative to represent them on the Metro Council. And so, that seat, the filing of that seat is going to be a very important activity that’s going to be happening very quickly,” says Meeks.
The forum will be held before council members have a chance to interview the applicants, but Council President King says he is supportive of the meeting and will be in attendance to hear the community’s feedback as well.
The candidate meeting with residents is scheduled for September 27, at 6 p.m. at the NIA Center, 2900 west Broadway.
Facts from the case submitted to the clerk’s office Thursday marked the final step in the historic process of removing Green from office. t’s conclusion left a stinging message that the former lawmaker violated the council’s rules.
“Without doubt, Dr. Green’s actions are an unacceptable form of conduct for any member of the Louisville Metro Council. The Council Court certainly takes no pleasure in rendering this particular decision, however, by a preponderance of the evidence it is clear that Dr. Green violated the Standards of Conduct in this case,” ,” the council court document says.
The misconduct charges stemmed from two ethics complaints filed against Green earlier this year, which alleged she used a summer jobs program to benefit family members and rerouted taxpayer money without the council’s knowledge. The ethics commission ruled unanimously that Green deliberately violated the law in both cases and recommended her ouster.
“I think for the most part people in the district want to move on,” says Meeks. “They are very desirous of having the position filled. They want to see this process move forward and move forward in a very expeditious manner.”
The new council member will be selected at a special meeting that has yet to be determined.