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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)---With an excused absence, Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin's seat was empty as the charges against her were read at Thursday's Metro Council meeting.
She's accused of mishandling city money for an upholstery program that records show benefitted her family. She's also accused of employing her grandson while he had outstanding warrants, and allegedly taking city money for a neighborhood association she chaired.
On Wednesday, the 5-member charging committee announced a petition had been signed calling for the removal of the Councilwoman.
Now they are preparing to go through a large volume of documents in this case.
"There are the transcripts from the Ethics Commission hearings, and there are other matters that we may want to explore by using the subpoena power that the ethics commission did not have," says attorney David Tachau.
Shanklin's District 2 constituents in the Newburg neighborhood have mixed opinions on this process.
One woman, who didn't want to go on camera, said Shanklin had been unfairly targeted.
But, others were outspoken about what she's accused of.
"I just believe if a person is elected to office, they've assumed the trust of the people that voted for them and if you misuse taxpayer money and it's proven, then you ought to be held accountable," says Marvin Joyner, who lives in the Newburg area.
Shanklin's attorney, Aubrey Williams, issued the following statement by phone.
"My client is not stepping down. We have just begun to fight. This charade and hypocrisy will be exposed for what it really is in due time," Williams says.
Whatever the outcome may be, residents like Marvin Joyner are ready for an end to the process.
"We need to get this behind us and move forward," says Marvin Joyner.
The Charging Committee will decide in the next 30 days how to move forward.
Barbara Shanklin's attorney says he plans to file an appeal in this case on Friday.