The Louisville Metro Council elected Attica Woodson Scott to fill the District 1 seat by a 18-to-7 vote Thursday.
The 39-year-old community organizer currently serves as a coordinator for Kentucky Jobs With Justice, a grassroots organization that advocates on labor issues, economic justice and immigrant rights. Scott replaces former Councilwoman Judy Green, who was expelled from office for a series of ethical violations and misconduct charges.
Scott says she feels a need to serve at a higher standard due to that scandal, but that she is eager to take office and address the issues in the district.
“I am deeply honored and humbled by Metro Council and I look forward to serving with you all as colleagues, and I look forward to being here (Friday) morning to get to work,” she told the council.
Before the appointment, the social justice advocate received numerous endorsements from community and civil rights groups, including the Fairness Campaign’s political action committee and state. Rep. Reginal Meeks, D-Louisville, whose legislative district backed Scott for the seat.
But before the vote, Councilwoman Mary Woolridge, D-3, made a stunning allegation that the selection process was rigged in Scott’s favor and was unfair to the other dozen applicants.
“There were backdoor meetings before this process even started, before we even received your resumes and before we ever even interviewed you a person was chosen, a person was selected and I know this for a fact. Therefore, I think this process is very tainted and it’s unfair to all the candidates here,” she says.
Woolridge, who nominated attorney Courtney Phelps, called for state lawmakers to change merger law and eliminate the appointment process altogether, which the council has done four times before.
Council members who supported Scott vehemently denied the claim, but several added they’d like to change how vacancies are filled and allow for a special election to give residents the choice.
Scott will have to run for the seat in the 2012 primary and general elections if she is challenged.