Council seeks to oust Barbourville mayor

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Associated Press

Posted on March 10, 2014 at 9:01 PM

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A City Council in southeastern Kentucky has scheduled a public hearing to discuss removing the mayor.

The Times-Tribune (http://bit.ly/1cJ3ocd) in Corbin reports Barbourville officials have cited results from a recent state audit in their attempt to oust Mayor David Thompson. The hearing is set for Tuesday at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

The action comes after the council asked Thompson last week to resign. They cited two state statutes involving misconduct and conflict of interest.

Thompson refused the request and later denied any wrongdoing. He said the council cited nothing more than the findings from the audit in seeking his removal. He says the city has already put policies into place to correct items as recommended by the auditor's office.

Councilman Sherman Lawson said the hearing would work like an impeachment.

"All six council members have to vote on it, and the vote has to be unanimous. It was one of the audit's findings that made us do it. Whenever we went to looking at the money, it caught the attention of the Finance Committee in January or February of 2013. The numbers weren't adding up to what we expected. If the money's not there, you can't spend it," he said.

Councilman Darren West said the move is a reaction to the audit findings.

"What this amounts to is the mayor needs to go," he said. "Basically, the mayor is on trial. He needs to convince the council that he needs to stay. In his audit, Adam Edelen said the City Council needs to restore trust back to the residents of the city. This is the step the council is taking."

Thompson said the city's finances have been in good shape until recently.

"We were moving forward, and have for the past six years because we had six good council members who got things done and worked together," he said, noting that three new members were elected in November 2012. "The forward movement stopped a year ago, and we have absolutely done nothing positive in a little over the last year."

Thompson said he makes only $1,000 monthly as mayor and is on call all the time.

"It's easy to tell that money isn't a factor in my motivation as mayor," he said.

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Information from: The Times-Tribune, http://www.thetimestribune.com

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