2-hour, closed-door meeting yields no action on future of Metro - WDRB 41 Louisville News

2-hour, closed-door meeting yields no action on future of Metro Councilman Dan Johnson

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Louisville Metro Councilman Dan Johnson Louisville Metro Councilman Dan Johnson

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- No action was taken Tuesday night on the future of Metro Councilman Dan Johnson.

A three-person panel made up of Democrats Barbara Shanklin, Barbara Sexton Smith and Rick Blackwell met behind closed doors. They're considering whether Johnson violated his sexual harassment settlement with the council court. Council members think he broke the deal by staying in council chambers too long and saying he did nothing wrong to the women in an interview last week with WDRB News.

On Monday, members of the "triumvirate" met to discuss allegations that Johnson violated terms of an agreement that kept him from losing his seat. But, the meeting lacked a 24-hour notice, so another meeting was held Tuesday.  

Once again, however, no action was taken after Blackwell failed to show since there are questions over whether he can be involved since he volunteered and wasn't appointed.

Now, everyone is waiting on an opinion from the county attorney as to whether Blackwell needs to be replaced.

"As soon as we get that legal opinion, I know it is the desire and intent of the charging committee to do the required 24-hour meeting notice, hold the meeting and make a selection," said council member Angela Leet.

This all stems from multiple women accusing Johnson, a Democrat who represents parts of southern Louisville, of sexual harassment. He avoided a removal trial by a special council court last week after agreeing to number of stipulations.

Under the deal, Johnson is allowed in City Hall only for the 20 minutes before and 20 minutes after committee and council meetings and must stay off the premises at all other times. He also admitted there is enough evidence to warrant his removal.

Johnson's attorney, Thomas McAdam, suggested that Johnson would consider a lawsuit if he is ousted, despite a provision in the settlement that Johnson waives his right to appeal.

Johnson has been accused of several instances of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior, including a claim by council member Jessica Green, who said Johnson groped her backside at a public event in June at Wyandotte Park. 

Erin Hinson, a legislative aide to Leet, said Johnson exposed his naked rear end to her in a parking lot behind City Hall. And last year, Greater Louisville, Inc., banned Johnson from its events following “inappropriate and unprofessional behavior" towards a chamber of commerce employee during a trip to Texas.

The panel will meet again Monday.

This story will be updated.

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