BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) – Bardstown city employees can no longer speak with city council members until further notice.

Bardstown Mayor John Royalty has ordered city employees to no longer talk to or answer questions from any city council members during an investigation into possible wrong doing.

According to councilman Bill Buckman, it started in early November when an envelope containing public records of council members Kecia Copeland and Francis Lydian was left on the doorstep of city hall.

“If the council wanted to vote to find out who was the culprit then so be it,” Buckman said. “If they felt that's what they needed to do, I'll go along with that.”

Ultimately, city council voted unanimously to begin the process of launching an investigation into where that envelope came from.

“I did bring up some issues about who they were going to investigate, and how much of the city's taxpayer's money we were going to spend to do so,” Buckman said of the vote.

The day after that was approved, Royalty sent a memo to city department heads directing them to cease contact with any city council member regarding the investigation or any city business.

Citing a KRS 83A.130(13)., Royalty says he has the authority by protecting employees from undo questioning. “There was a lot of concern from city employees to the mayor asking, ‘Am I being targeted? Am I being looked at? Why are they talking to me,’” Buckman said.

Instead, any questions council members have for city employees will now have to be directed first to the Mayor’s office and then pass those questions on.

“The mayor decided that if the council had questions then they'd have to go through the mayor's office and he'd accommodate you,” Buckman said.

Royalty was not available for an interview on Monday.

Some on city council said at a recent meeting the new directive makes their jobs “impossible.” Buckman disagrees.

“The day to day operations as I’ve said before, the wheel is going to turn in city hall with or without the council,” Buckman said. “At the end of the day, the city is going to keep working.”

The next city council meeting is scheduled to happen on Tuesday evening.

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