LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- For the second day in a row, Council woman Barbara Shanklin walked out of her metro ethics hearing. The council woman, who pleaded the 5th to prevent questioning Wednesday, did the same Thursday.
However, when investigating officer James Earhart told her he would only ask if she knew her grandson was in jail during the time he was paid as her legislative aide, she agreed to answer saying, “I had no idea”. But when Earhart said he planned to question her about the Petersburg Newburg Association, Shanklin left the room at her attorney’s urging.
Shanklin is accused of violating five counts of the metro ethics code. The alleged violations include keeping her grandson on the city payroll while in jail, and securing funding for an ex-offender job training program that benefited herself and family members.
Attorneys for both sides issued their closing arguments. Aubrey Williams, Shanklin’s attorney, said that if there was mismanagement, it didn’t stop with the council woman. The funds she secured had to be approved by various government agencies. “If she did, everybody is guilty”, he insisted. Earhardt, argued that Shanklin’s actions violated public trust and make citizens less likely to apply for public funds.
The lawyers have until the end of the year to submit briefs to the hearing officer, who then must turn in her findings to the Metro Ethics Commission by January 31. The Commission has up to 45 days after they receive the hear officer’s recommendation to make a ruling.
WHAS11's Karma Dickerson has been following the hearing from the beginning and has more on what happened Thursday, just click the video player above.