Hours after Scott Ellis resigns, Shepherdsville City Council elects new mayor
In the midst of a sex scandal, some council members had called for Ellis to resign.
SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Things got very ugly at the Shepherdsville City Council meeting held Tuesday night after Mayor Scott Ellis resigned, in which a new mayor was elected by just three members of the council.
In the midst of a sex scandal, some council members had called for Ellis to resign. But at the council's meeting Tuesday night, just hours after that resignation, members voted to elect a new Mayor.
Shortly afterward, Brian James -- the husband of Councilwoman Dana Bischoff James -- was sworn into office as Shepherdsville's new mayor.
James’ family owns the Kart Kountry family entertainment in Shepherdsville and he’s the general manager there.
James graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2005 with a degree in economics, but has never held public office before. He says he has run for office previously, but never won.
“The way it unfolded tonight in the meeting, that was not the way it was supposed to unfold,” James said after the meeting. “I am happy that I was chosen to be – to even be considered.”
Those in attendance weren't all happy with the decision. Two council members even walked out while the vote was taking place – leaving just three remaining at the meeting.
"I'd like to have more time to think about it. It's a serious issue and we don't need to move hastily," said councilman Bernie Brown.
By law, the council had 30 days to decide on a new mayor before Governor Matt Bevin would have had to assign one.
Brown and Larry Hatfield were the two members who refused to vote on a new mayor and walked out of the meeting to a round of applause from people in the audience.
Ashley Bratcher, Dana Bischoff James and Gloria Taft were the only three members of the 6-member council to vote on the new mayor. All three voted for Brian James.
James said there was no conflict of interest even though his wife helped to vote him in as mayor.
"The public perception is that these guys just heard tonight that I was interested in the position," said James following the meeting. "Where I've been speaking with them for the past year-and-a-half."
Both Bratcher and Bischoff James left the room quickly after the meeting before the media could ask questions. Gloria Taft refused to answer any of WDRB's questions about the appointment.
Council members said this appointment will last until a general election in November.
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