LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Bardstown City Council voted Thursday to fire the city's mayor.

After two-and-a-half hours of deliberations, council members voted unanimously to remove Mayor John Royalty from office, effective immediately, a decision met by cheers and applause in the crowd.

Royalty looked down and took notes as council members found him guilty of misconduct. Council members told him to return any city property. Royalty replied, "Absolutely."

However, Royalty had no comment to reporters upon leaving the Nelson County Justice Center, instead pointing to his attorney, who expressed disappointment.

"I'm going to try to keep measure of my emotions," said Jason Floyd, Royalty's attorney. "I think there was an incredible lack of evidence compared to what they put in their report. I think it's coming up on Easter, and somebody got their 30 pieces of silver."

After listening to two full days of testimony, council members concluded Royalty abused his power and forced city workers to lie to gain access to council woman Kecia Copeland's personal e-mails.

"It was very hard," Copeland said. "At times, I felt like I was on trial."

Copeland called a a "win" for the city and its people.

"Today is all about the people of Bardstown and moving forward," she said. "And making sure that we're positive and we're great again."

City council will hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday to appoint a new mayor.

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