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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Friends and colleagues say former councilwoman Judy Green will be remembered more as a generous and benevolent person who helped her community, and less so for the political scandal that ended with her removal from office.
By nightfall at Jewish Hospital, news had already circulated that former councilwoman Judy Green had suffered a major heart attack and died Tuesday. But earlier in the day, there was confusion over her condition.
"It took me completely by surprise when I got a text message that she had a heart attack. It caught me completely off guard," said Councilman Kevin Kramer, R - District 11.
Despite erroneous and false reports from other media outlets that reported she died in the morning, Green was placed on life support at Jewish Hospital so family members could gather to say goodbye, Green's husband James Green told WDRB News. Green was later taken off life support and died around 2:15 p.m. Tuesday afternoon. Judy Green was 57.
"Our hearts go out to her family and friends. It's always going to be a struggle and when you lose someone as young as Dr. Green," said Kramer.
"Dr. Green left a legacy for District 1. Every time I talk to seniors they talk about how well she knew the seniors; when I talk to the folks at youth service programs, they talk about how much they love the kids. She was a mom to kids," said Councilwoman Attica Scott, D - District 1, who took over Green's seat after she was removed from office.
Green, a dentist by trade, resigned from the Metro Council in September of 2011 for an ethics violation, but a council court still formally removed her from office.
She was accused of mishandling city grant money that benefited her family and helping steer grants for other groups. Green maintained all along that she did nothing wrong.
Councilman Kevin Kramer took the high road when asked about her legacy.
"Well, at this point I hope we just focus and remember that she has a family that's missing their mother and they're missing their grandmother," Kramer said.
Close friends and colleagues recall Dr. Green as a benevolent, generous person who cared about her district, especially seniors and children.
"It was important to her to make sure our next generation was prepared for leadership," said Scott.
Jerry Hazard, Green's producer at WLOU radio, is also a close family friend.
"She was one of the best clients on the radio. She will be missed," said Hazard.
Bill Price with the radio station said the phones rang off the hook Tuesday with people calling, asking about Green. "We had to put 'em on hold because we couldn't handle all of the phone calls, inquiries and people just wanting to pray for Judy and her family," said Price.
Hazard said: "It was a shocker to me, she's been a true pioneer. I had a chance to meet her doing the radio just a tragic loss."
Mayor Greg Fischer released a statement Tuesday saying, "Judy had a good heart and she loved her community. My thoughts are with her family during this difficult time."
James Green, Judy's husband, also released a statement Tuesday evening that read:
"As the community is aware, my wife, Dr. Judith Green, passed this afternoon after suffering a heart attack. Although her medical status was very serious, she managed to cling to life until all of our children, some of whom reside outside of the state, were able to come to her side and say goodbye.
While the community knew Judy as a Metro Council member and public figure, those of us who loved her most knew her as a splendid wife, mother, sister, mentor and loyal friend. We are devastated by her loss.
At this time, we ask the community to respect our privacy and allow us to grieve privately. Following Judy's home going services, I ask that any questions you may have be directed to me as the head of this family.
We want to thank everyone who has extended their condolences. We appreciate your acts of kindness," James Green said in a statement.
Metro Council President Jim King, D - District 10, also released a statement:
"The Metro Council is saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Judy Green. She served the people of her community for many years and was always a strong advocate for children. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Green family during this time of grief," the statement read.
WDRB's Stephan Johnson saw Green in church this past Sunday, and says she looked healthy as she attended a service in which her granddaughter joined the church.
Green's visitation will be Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. at St. Stephen Church. Her funeral will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Stephen.