Upholstery program stirs fireworks in Shanklin ethics trial - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Upholstery program stirs fireworks in Shanklin ethics trial

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- More fireworks emerged during day two in the ethics trial of Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin. The ethics trial, which could result in her removal from office, took a sharp focus Wednesday on a controversial city-funded upholstery program that records show was used by Shanklin and her family.

The day ended with a fiery exchange and finger-pointing between Shanklin's attorney Aubrey Williams and council court prosecutor David Tachau caught on a WDRB camera.

Tachau: "I'm just telling you Aubrey, be careful."

Williams: "No, you be careful, you got caught. You got exposed!"

Williams' statement refers to his claim that Tachau was caught withholding evidence of a phone call between prosecution witness Jim Sniegocki, a former FBI agent, and Linda Haywood, the instructor for the ex-offender upholstery program.

"This man withheld and misrepresented," Williams told the court during one of several objections.

Tachau says he did not disclose the conversation because he was concerned it would be viewed as hearsay. After Williams' objection, Tachau asked if Williams wanted to cross-examine Sniegocki. He declined. Tachau says the conversation between Sniegocki, Haywood and her attorney was only meant to determine if she were a credible source.

Council members expressed concern over Tachau's failure to mention this and Sniegocki's failure to ask Haywood of her whereabouts.

Records show the city paid Haywood $29,000 over several years to run the upholstery program meant for ex-convicts. It was canceled after it was revealed Shanklin and her family members were among the only participants.

Haywood told police Shanklin would use neighborhood association accounts she controlled to give her payday advances and that she would pay back Shanklin in cash.

"We understand she paid her in cash usually $400 to $600 at a time. Did she have a receipt? No there was no receipt," Sniegocki said.

Council members expressed concern over that. No one is sure of Haywood's whereabouts.

"There was no information over where she is currently located," Sniegocki said.

Tachau said he thought her sworn statement to police was enough and that he didn't want to "track down a woman whose husband was dying of cancer."

Williams says the call between Sniegocki and Haywood should've led to Haywood being forced to testify.

Sniegcocki -- hired by the prosecution to review bank records of two neighborhood groups Shanklin controlled -- said Shanklin used a neighborhood account to write a $600 check to her grandson's girlfriend for "emergency aid."

"Whether money went back into that account, nobody knows," he said.

Tachau claims Shanklin should be removed from office -- and that Shanklin either pocketed the missing money or Haywood was paid twice.

"And I don't really care because I think both are misconduct," Tachu said.

Shanklin has maintained that she did nothing wrong. Her ethics trial resumes Thursday at 9:30 a.m.


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