Bardstown City Council votes in Dick Heaton as new mayor

Dick Heaton announced new mayor of Bardstown

BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The Bardstown City Council has appointed a new mayor, less than a week after firing John Royalty from the position. Councilman Dick Heaton was sworn in at a special meeting Tuesday night.
Heaton has served as mayor of Bardstown in the past.

"We're going to turn the page and were going to start a new chapter in city government in Bardstown, Kentucky," Councilman Roland Williams said. 

The small town government has been plagued with problems for the last few years.

"It has been very tough, it has been very tough. You're always waiting for the other shoe to drop. There's always something else,” Roland said.

Former Mayor John Royalty was first investigated in April of 2016 after he restructured the Bardstown Police Department. Councilwoman Kecia Copeland initiated the investigation, claiming the public wanted answers.
In November of 2016, a packet of documents containing personal information about Copeland was left at the Bardstown City hall. The city council hired a private investigator to look into the documents and presented their findings at the last city council meeting.  Royalty was tied to the documents.

City council claimed this evidence was enough to convict Royalty of official misconduct and remove him from his position as Mayor.

"The only people who won was the community and the city of Bardstown," Copeland said.

Tuesday night the council appointed a new mayor at a special meeting. Heaton will be filling the remainder of Royalty's term which ends in December of 2018.

It’s something council members say has been years in the making.

"After what we've been through these last couple of years, I think we will all be on one accord,” Williams said.

Heaton was voted on unanimously and sworn in at the meeting.

 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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