James explains vote to retain Shanklin on Metro Council


by Johnny Archer


Posted on August 13, 2013 at 1:12 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 13 at 1:21 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- It would have taken 14 Metro Council members to vote out Barbara Shanklin, but there were only 13.

Councilman David James was one of the seven who voted to keep her in office. On Tuesday, he wanted to explain his decision publicly.

“Some people actually sat and listened to make their decision and some people made their decision based upon what was popular,” James, who represents the 6th District in Metro Louisville, said.

James wanted to publicly announce why he voted to keep Shankiln in office, after questions about his decision came flooding into him.

“There was never any evidence in any way in the hearing. For every year of the ex-offender program run, Shanklin turned in receipts for every year,” James said. “So there is not a penny missing.”

New checks and balances came about in Metro government after 2012, but James said he believes more are needed. The councilman admits there were flaws with some of Shanklin’s programs

“I believe the program didn't go the way it was supposed to go,” he said. “I believe that Barbara Shanklin made many mistakes along the way in the program. Do I believe Barbara Shanklin did anything to profit her family or profit herself from it? Absolutely not.”

James said the decision was not about race. Even with the 13 members who voted her out were all white. While each African American member voted to keep her in office.

“It’s not a race issue,” James said. “It’s simply a matter of standing up for what you think is right and understanding the facts that are presented to you and making a decision.”

James said there are council members who are still very upset about the decision.

“It's going to take some time for those feelings to heal,” he said.