WEST BUECHEL, Ky. — A former West Buechel city employee is suing the City of West Buechel and one of its council members. The lawsuit states Councilman John Campbell is a convicted criminal “…which is prohibited by the Kentucky constitution, for any felon to hold office,” explained Attorney Timothy Denison.
Denison represents Kimberly Richards in the lawsuit. She served as West Buechel’s City Clerk and Treasurer for four years, until the end of 2018. Richards is demanding Campbell be removed from the council because of the claim that he’s a convicted felon.
Documents from Denison show a Judgement of Guilty out of Palm Beach County in the State of Florida. The document states Campbell pleaded guilty to grand theft in 1980.
“She is seeking to make that known to the taxpayers of West Buechel, because it's usurpation of the office, it's a usurpation of the taxpayers' funds, and certainly, it's not permissible under statutes or our Constitution,” Denison explained.
Hours after the lawsuit was filed, Campbell took his seat in front of the room at a City Council meeting. Campbell would not comment on the lawsuit but said he served five years of probation. He also said it was a withhold of adjudication, different from a conviction, and reiterated it was 40 years ago.
The lawsuit also questions the use of taxpayer dollars and is demanding an audit.
Though a yearly requirement, West Buechel hasn't had an audit in over three years.
“There's records everywhere. So, I know they're going through lots of boxes and they're just trying to sort out, literally, bring order out of chaos,” said City Attorney David Clement.
Clement would not comment on the lawsuit but did say the current administration is trying to get enough records together for an auditor to sufficiently do their job.
Richards also claims in the lawsuit that her pay rate was wrongfully reduced during her final year as the City Clerk and Treasurer, and is looking for compensation.
Denison is the attorney in this case, but also the former city attorney for West Buechel. He explained all complaints in the lawsuit happened before he took that position.
Mayor Brenda Moore, who began her term at the start of 2019 refused to comment on pending litigation.