Shepherdsville mayor arraigned on prostitution charge - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Shepherdsville mayor arraigned on prostitution charge

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Embarrassing for him and his family. That's how Shepherdsville Mayor Scott Ellis is feeling, according to his attorney. 

Not guilty. That's the plea that John Cook, the mayor's attorney entered for Scott Ellis' misdemeanor solicitation to prostitution charge. The prosecution says it's now turning over copies of evidence in the case. 

John Cook, Ellis' attorney says, "That's an assumption that he is avoiding cameras, but of course he's embarrassed because of the nature of the charges." He says, "There are volumes of material apparently to look through, so I'm anxious to get my hands on it to see really what we're dealing with."

Mark Shouse, the special prosecutor in the case says, "The punishment range from a class b misdemeanor is $250 top max for a fine and up to 90 days in jail."

Cook thinks Ellis is being unfairly targeted for a charge he says is one step above a traffic violation. Investigators say the mayor made promises to three women in exchange for sexual favors.  

Some city council members want Ellis to resign. The mayor wrote a letter saying he'll do that after he finds a new job.

But his attorney questions why Ellis should even resign. Cook says, "Why should he? There is no requirement to resign many people in public office have had prior misdemeanor convictions, DUI's, traffic violations." Cook says Ellis is still weighing his options.

City Councilwoman Gloria Taft  who was the only one who didn't sign a letter asking Ellis to leave... is trying to get two council members removed: Bernie Brown and Larry Hatfield. She filed this ethics complaint against them saying they released information to the public about the case -  before all council members were aware of what was happening. The pair deny that. 

Taft is asking the Ethics Committee to punish them to the fullest extent of the law up to and including removing them. Hatfield says the public deserves to know what is happening.

Cook says, "It's hard for me give an opinion on the facts until I know what the Commonwealth has in its possession." He says "Again, I can't stress to you that the indictment that's been handed down is normally something that's just generated with a citation by an officer or citizen complaint and is essentially considered the lowest level of criminal offense assuming there's enough evidence to convict him of it."

"My job is, by rule, to treat everybody fairly and resolve the case the proper way it should be and not ignore the notoriety that goes along with it," said Special Prosecutor Mark Shouse.

Ellis' next court date is in September. 

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