Louisville, Ky. (News release) -- Metro Council Government Accountability and Ethics Committee Chairman, Jerry Miller (District 19) met with Council President Jim King and Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell to discuss potential problems that could arise should the council's GAE Committee begin their own investigation into matters related to Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, the Petersburg/Newburg Improvement Association, and an upholstery training program.
As a result of this meeting, GAE Chairman Miller has an even stronger belief that the Metro Council should refrain from a separate investigation. The following is GAE Chairman Miller's comments regarding this meeting and his decision:
"On Friday, July 6 a member of the Metro Council urged a separate investigation by the GAE Committee. In response to that press release, I stated that justice needs to be the top priority. This means giving professional investigators the time they need to do their job and giving Councilwoman Shanklin the opportunity to explain her actions. It was my understanding that it was the opinion of our legal counsel that we refrain from making public comments or reaching a conclusion on this matter - just as we did when working through the Judy Green removal process. Monday's meeting confirmed that my position on the Metro Council's current role in the investigation was consistent with that of the President and the County Attorney."
"I understand that when there are multiple stories featured on this matter in the Courier-Journal, it may be difficult for the people of this community and even some Council Members to understand the need for restraint. But this is the legal advice we have received from the County Attorney, and it is the advice that as chairman I must follow. My chief concern is that we not interfere with ongoing investigations, and maintain the ability of the Metro Council to hold a removal process/court if it is deemed necessary. Had the Metro Council proceeded with an investigation of its own, it could have jeopardized our ability to take any other punitive actions, if they are warranted, and that would truly be a disservice to everyone."
"The auditor is currently reviewing these matters as well as the Louisville Metro Police Department's Public Integrity Unit. It is important to let each of these professionals do their jobs and keep politics out of a process that has served this community well."
Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin (D-2) has released the following statement:
"As I have said since these newspaper stories began, I have done nothing wrong in my service to my community. I was unaware of an investigation by the Metro Police Public Integrity Unit but I welcome any review of what I have done and I look forward to cooperating with any investigation."