Councilman David James speaks out about County Attorney's reques - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Councilman David James speaks out about County Attorney's request

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It was business as usual at the Metro Council meeting on Thursday.

Among the council members voting was Councilman David James.

This comes a day after Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell advised him to not do so.

"My advice was out of an abundance of caution, while someone was still occupying two constitutionally incompatible offices, that they may want to abstain or pass until this situation is clarified," said O'Connell.

On Wednesday, the County Attorney said that under Kentucky law, James is unable to hold two sworn positions.

The District 6 councilman is also the operations commander for the University of Louisville Police Department.

"Everybody knew that I was a police officer, including the county attorney. The County Attorney's assistant, her husband  worked for me as a police officer at U of L, so it's not like the county attorney didn't know," said Councilman James.

But, the county attorney says, he recently learned that holding both positions is unconstitutional.

James questioned whether this could be political.

He was asked by the media on Thursday whether this could be a result of voting against removing councilwoman Barbara Shanklin in an ethics case last August.

"It's a possibility, but it could also be a possibility about who I support in other elections," James said.

The County Attorney refutes this claim.

"It's regrettable. It's absolutely not politically motivated. I was an early supporter of Councilman James when he ran for office. I was one of his first contributors. I simply as county attorney have do the job that I was hired to do by the people of this community and call the balls and strikes and do the legal research," says Mike O'Connell.

While the county attorney has referred this matter to the Attorney General, Councilman James says he is working to resolve the issue.

"There are some legal issues at hand that have to be answered, and so once those are answered, I'll be able to make a clearer decision about what to do," says David James.

Councilman James would not say how he plans to handle this situation.

He did tell us he is thankful for all the support he has received from community members.

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