Removal of Hodgenville mayor doesn't end controversy - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Removal of Hodgenville mayor doesn't end controversy

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HODGENVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The city of Hodgenville is under new leadership after the mayor was removed from office. As WDRB News has learned, the controversy continues even after that bold move by city council members.

The controversy continues because the now former mayor is not only still facing criminal charges, but he is also appealing the council's vote and running for sheriff.

"This is not an office that I have sought," said Kenny DeVore, Hodgenville's interim mayor.

The mayor's office is the last place DeVore expected to land at this stage in his life.

"We're not -- certainly not -- happy about it, I'm not happy about it, this is not where I wanted to be," he said. "I was very content to be a council member."

But after a state police investigation, an indictment and a day-long hearing on Thursday, it happened.

DeVore explains, "I was nominated by...members of the city council after last night's removal."

On Thursday, DeVore and other members of the Hodgenville City Council voted unanimously to remove Terry Cruse from the mayor's office.

DeVore says, "It was very tough, it was one of the most stressful...procedures...confusing procedures...that I've ever had to deal with."

It all stems from an investigation of Cruse and city clerk Madonna Hornback that led to criminal charges. They're accused of using city-issued fuel credit cards to make personal purchases. 

"She has not been removed," said DeVore.

For now, Hornback still has a job, but she is missing in action. 

"I'm going to try to get in touch with her this afternoon and ask her what her intentions are," DeVore said.

"What do you mean?" asked WDRB's Stephan Johnson.

"Well, she didn't come to work," DeVore said.

Meanwhile, Cruse may have lost his job leading the city, but his campaign signs are everywhere as he's still running for Larue County Sheriff.

"Running for sheriff too? I mean, that's pretty bold I think," said Tino Cobb, a local business owner.

Cobb owns the local barbershop, says this situation is the talk of the town, and believes there may even be more to the story.

Cobb says, "My next question is...ah...how did it go on for so long, I mean, who is doing the books, who let that go on?"

Cruse's criminal trial is scheduled to start in June, but we are told that will likely be delayed.  Meanwhile, the interim mayor's term expires in December and he has not decide whether he will seek reelection.

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