Shanklin defends herself in ethics trial: "I did not benefit" - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Shanklin defends herself in ethics trial: "I did not benefit"

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LOUISVILLE, KY (WDRB) -- Often combative and talking over each other, prosecutor David Tachau and Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin clashed over whether the District 2 councilwoman violated the city's ethics code.

"There's no way I could benefit if I already knew how to sow and I'm helping somebody else -- and I didn't benefit in any kind of way financially," Shanklin said.

Tachau claims Shanklin violated the ethics code by taking part in a tax-funded upholstery program and allowing its instructor to be overpaid. The program that went on for years was canceled in 2011 after the Metro Corrections Director decided it was not benefiting the intended users. Records show Shanklin and her relatives were among those who participated in the class.

"When I was in the classroom, I was working as a community person - just like anybody else," Shanklin said.

Tachau: "I asked you if you knew if any ex-offender ever got a job from the program? You said you didn't know. OK

Tachau argues Shanklin created the program, oversaw its funding, and allowed the instructor Linda Haywood to be paid twice through an accounting error that was never corrected.

"If you read (the financial statements) you would know the $1200 never went back into the account," Tachau said referring to money he alleges is missing from a neighborhood account Shanklin controlled that contained taxpayer money.

Shanklin says "nothing was misappropriated" and contends the money used to give Haywood pay advances was raised through private funds from neighborhood festivals, vendors and sales from amusement park rides.

Shanklin says she tried to get the money back but couldn't - blaming Haywood. Tachau also says Shanklin lied to police claiming she met with Metro Corrections officials to set up the class.

"It's my testimony that I never met with them," said Dewayne Clark, a Metro Corrections officials.

Shanklin said this Monday: "I was never in a meeting. I had nothing to do with the contracts or how much Haywood would charge."

Shanklin's attorney Aubrey Williams claims she helped her community through tutoring programs, festivals and anti-crime programs. He claims she is not responsible for others' accounting errors. says the city allowed the program to continue for five years.

"Nobody was getting a job from it, and the only people who benefited was Dr. Shanklin and her family members," said Tachau.

Shanklin interjected:  "I never benefited - never got a dime out of the class. "

It is likely Shanklin will be called to testify again on Tuesday.


Under a prosecutor's questioning Monday, Shanklin could be fairly combative, as when she responded to a question about why she gave a statement to police, yet refused to testify during an Ethics Commission hearing. She said it was, "Under the advice of my attorney." When told that the hearing officer said she, as the client, made that call, not the attorney, Shanklin responded, "I don't recall anything that the Ethics Commission may have said to me at that time."

The prosecutor tried to press Shanklin further, asking if she was afraid to answer questions. Her attorney objected to the question, and the judge sustained that objection.

"How do we know you benefited the community at all?" was another question from Tachau.

"He misstates the evidence," came the objection from Williams, who was told, "Don't interrupt the counsel."

The exchange continued:

Tachau: "Year after year, the taxpayers spent money on this program even though nobody was getting a job from it."
: "Nobody was getting a job, as I said before, from other classes, too."
: "And the only people who benefited were Dr. Shanklin and her friends and family, right?"
: "Never benefited, never got a dime out of the class, in any kind of way."

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