BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) – The former mayor of Bardstown has filed an appeal in his removal from office in April.

It was back on April 13 that Bardstown City Council voted to fire then Mayor John Royalty.

On January 3rd, the council voted to launch an investigation into packets of traffic tickets and court cases involving council members Kecia Copeland and Francis Lydian that were left outside City Hall. Those packets were found two days before Election Day.

The council hired Lexington attorney Scott Crosbie to conduct the investigation. At a city council meeting on March 28th, Crosbie said his probe found that Royalty abused his power and violated privacy laws in an attempt to ruin the reputation of Copeland before last year's election.

After two and a half days of testimony in a removal hearing, 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.

On Friday, Royalty and his attorneys filed a formal appeal of that decision in Nelson County Circuit Court.

“The matter appeals from involves the removal of the Appellant (Royalty) from his office as Mayor of the City of Bardstown, including the facts, circumstances, and legal challenges leading up to that removal, the constitutionality of the statute, sufficiency of the evidence, and other matters,” the appeal states.

The appeal’s main challenge centers on the state statute that city council cited as grounds for removal.

“By their (City Council) actions, Mr. Royalty has been left with no choice but to respond to their unwarranted actions, and perhaps find some measure of justice from the unjust actions of the City Council, arising out of an unjust investigation and an unjust law,” said Royalty’s attorney Jason Floyd in a prepared statement.

Less than a week after the hearing that removed Royalty, the City Council named council member Dick Heaton as mayor. David Dones was eventually appointed to fill the seat vacated by Heaton. 

Meanwhile, City Council has also sent the investigation to the Commonwealth's Attorney's office to determine if any criminal charges are necessary. 

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