Embattled Metro Councilman Dan Johnson sends letter asking fello - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Embattled Metro Councilman Dan Johnson sends letter asking fellow council members not to remove him

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Metro Councilman Dan Johnson, who is facing an Aug. 1 deadline to resign or face possible removal, sent personal, handwritten letters last week to every council member asking to keep his job.

In the letter obtained by WDRB News, Johnson apologized for the "ordeal" the controversy has put the council through, but said, "I have done nothing wrong, however the perception is the opposite." The letter asked that the council, "Please allow me to finish the job I was elected by the constituents of the 21st district to do."

“He wants to save his job,” said Robin Engel, chairman of the council’s Republican caucus. “I don't blame him for doing what he did.”

But Engel said the letter cannot erase the accusations of sexual harassment against Johnson.

“I would like to hear that he would resign,” he said.

On July 13, Johnson was expelled from the Democratic Caucus and given until Aug. 1 to resign his seat over accusations that he groped the backside of council member Jessica Green and flashed his backside to a council aide.

But on the deadline day, council member Barbara Sexton Smith (D-District 4) said she does not to want to move too quickly.

“You're innocent until proven guilty," Smith said. "Although sometimes these processes are very hard, it's very important that we follow the process."

According to the process, five members of Metro Council must form a committee to formally file charges with the council president. That would lead to a trial by the remaining members of Metro Council.

“We still don't know which five members might form the charging committee," said Tony Hyatt, spokesman for the Democratic caucus. "There's still a discussion about that amongst members of the council."

Hyatt said it could be a month or more before a trial could even begin. Then two-thirds of the full council must vote to remove Johnson.

“To be honest with you … it's not a very quick process,” Hyatt said.

Engel said it is a process no one is happy about.

“Nobody wishes to end a fellow council member's career," he said. "Nobody is joyful about this moment.”

Johnson did not respond to a request for an interview.

WDRB News has learned one that Johnson's key aides is out. Legislative Assistant Bryan Matthews no longer works for Johnson. His office will not confirm whether Matthews was fired. In a text message, Matthews told WDRB News it was a personnel matter. He added, “The decision was Councilman Johnson’s to make, and I respect his decision.”

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