Shanklin's attorney shuns media questions at news conference - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Shanklin's attorney shuns media questions at news conference

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Councilwoman Barbara says she is ready to put the controversy behind her and focus on her job. Councilwoman Barbara says she is ready to put the controversy behind her and focus on her job.
Shanklin's attorney Aubrey Williams refused to answer questions from WDRB reporter Stephan Johnson, at one point accusing him of harassment. Shanklin's attorney Aubrey Williams refused to answer questions from WDRB reporter Stephan Johnson, at one point accusing him of harassment.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The ethics trial of Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin is over, but the controversy is not. On Friday, a question from a reporter led to another heated exchange between Shanklin's attorney and the media.

Despite the recent controversy, Shanklin says she believes she can still be an effective leader. In a prepared statement, Shanklin said: "Those of my colleagues who are upset with me, I ask you to give me a chance to regain your trust and respect."

Shanklin, during a news conference on Friday, read the two-page statement in which she maintained her innocence. She said she was grateful that her colleagues on the council saw fit to retain her. 

Some council members, however, said after the vote that they were concerned with the council's effectiveness after the vote. 

[CLICK TO SEE HOW METRO COUNCIL MEMBERS VOTED]

"Now that we have moved past this ordeal," Shanklin said, "I know there is much work to be done.  I'm particularly pleased that my constituents stand before everyone today, showing their support and confidence in me as I refocus my energy on serving my community and the city of Louisville."

Councilwoman Shanklin ended her statement by addressing fellow council members. That's when things went from humbled to heated.

Aubrey Williams, Shanklin's attorney, insisted that Shanklin let him answer any questions. Even so, we asked Shanklin about how she planed to go about earning the trust of her colleagues.

"No, no, no! I want to, hey, I'm answering your questions, sir, you don't like the answer that you're getting," Williams replied.

Shanklin called the news conference following the ethics trial that ended with her colleagues finding she did misuse money from taxpayer funded programs, but narrowly allowing her to keep her seat. In a scene similar to the ethics hearing, Williams raised his voice, pointed fingers, and dominated the show.

"The seven Republicans clearly elected to ignore the evidence," Williams said.

Williams was talking about Republicans and other council members who voted to remove Shanklin from office; he even took a shot at Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.  "This same mayor had two opportunities to come before the ethics commission and talk.  He ducked that opportunity," says Williams.

Shanklin's statement focused on moving past the ethics trial, but the hearing and our questions were the focus of her attorney's latest rant.  "Keep this in mind, sir, as you press your question to me," said Williams.  "No one, not even her friends, gave her a snowball's chance in the hot place to win."

And here is the response we got from Williams after asking Shanklin if she ever considered giving up her seat during this ordeal:  "I told her not to answer your questions, young man! You need -- I told her not to answer your question; she's not going to (answer) questions. And if you put another one to her then I am going to suggest that you might just be guilty of harassment."

We tried one more time and here's how it ended. "I'm not answering any more of your questions," said Williams.

Copyright 2013 WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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