Council votes to oust Barbourville mayor

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Associated Press

Posted on March 12, 2014 at 11:01 AM

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. (AP) — City Council members in Barbourville have voted unanimously to remove the mayor from office.

Media reported that the move by officials in the southeastern Kentucky city came on the heels of a state audit that found several poor financial practices since Mayor David Thompson took office in 2007.

Administrative charges filed against Thompson noted results of the audit, which included findings that Thompson swayed leaders in 2007 to hire his wife to manage a water park operated by the city, that the city did not obtain bids before purchasing some products, and that it paid more for property than it was worth.

"These were actions of misconduct as well as conflicts of interest," Councilman Darren West said at the meeting.

Councilman Sherman Lawson said Thompson's conduct had cost the city money, that citizens were "irate" and that many felt immediate action was warranted.

"The council made it clear, I think tonight, that they were here to serve, that they were here to do what the auditor suggested they do, which is to restore the trust of the taxpayers of the City of Barbourville, and the auditor clearly felt like that trust had been breached," said Joe Childers, an attorney representing the council.

Thompson's attorney, Billy Taylor, said his client didn't have enough time to prepare for the hearing and would appeal the decision.

"This has been a railroad from beginning to end," Taylor said. "They made it clear before that their decision was to remove the mayor, of which they have done."

Thompson has said the auditor's recommendations to improve the city's financial practices have already been put into place.

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