Ruling by Jefferson County judge clears way for relocation of Confederate memorial
A Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge has issued a ruling effectively clearing the way for the relocation of a Confederate memorial near the University of Louisville.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A judge has cleared the way for the city to remove the controversial Confederate monument near the University of Louisville.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer says he hopes to begin moving the statue in about a month, but it's not clear yet where the monument's permanent home will be.
Circuit Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman dismissed the lawsuit brought by supporters of the Confederate monument.
The judge swept away all their arguments, ruling the statue does legally belong to the city of Louisville, and the city does have the authority to move it.
Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell is not surprised.
"It was an in-artfully drafted complaint, and every allegation in it was proven to be false," said O'Connell.
Everett Corley, one of the original plaintiffs, says he's disappointed, but there's been no decision about an appeal.
"I will do what I have to do to in order to stand up for history and for culture," Corley told WDRB News.
The debate over the statue has at times been white hot.
Just this past Sunday, those for and against the monument engaged in a shouting match.
"As a student here, it makes me uncomfortable knowing that people are out here holding a Confederate flag saying that they're defending this statue here," said Deanna Benson.
"The monument has stood for 121 years. It honors the 260,000 southern soldiers that were killed during the Civil War," countered Jason Bertera.
Mayor Greg Fischer says he wants input from the Metro Louisville's Public Art Commission before deciding the statue's final resting place.
"That will be a public meeting so the people can hear what's going on there, and they will make a recommendation to me after that," said Fischer.
The U of L Foundation was to help pay the cost of the move. It's unclear if changes in the university's leadership will affect those plans.
"Well, there's a lot of moving parts at the university right now, so I don't know it that will come into play in this, but we'll need to take that into consideration if it does," said Fischer.
The next meeting date for the Public Art Commission has not been set. The mayor's office says it should be in the next three weeks.
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Copyright 2016 WDRB News. All rights reserved.