Metro Council member allegedly violates policy


by Alex Schuman

Posted on February 26, 2014 at 8:03 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 27 at 12:51 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell released his opinion that City Councilmember David James is violating the Kentucky Constitution by working as a police officer for the University of Louisville.

"They are incompatible and you cannot occupy them at the same time.  Period,” County Attorney Mike O’Connell.

O’Connell lays out his opinion in a letter to Attorney General Jack Conway asking for the state official’s opinion on the matter, and for his assure James properly starts following the state Constitution.

James started serving District 6 back in 2010, and worked as a police officer before his election.  

O’Connell’s office only discovered the Commonwealth does not allow someone to serve in more than one position that requires a sworn oath of office, like a police officer or city councilor.   They noticed the provision after two LMPD officers asked if they could legally run for office in Oldham County.  

“When it came up involving the two LMPD officers our staff started think, ‘Well it may be applicable to Councilman James.’" said McConnell.  

James is the only official O’Connell knows is in violation of this part of the constitution.

A spokesperson for James told WHAS he was surprised by the opinion, and wants to find a solution.  O’Connell’s office is giving James 30 to 40 days to make a decision on how to proceed before they will, “take action.”

Other city councilors do not want to comment until they have more information.  The U of L considers this a personal matter for James to decide.  

The next city council meeting will be tomorrow night.