Vitalis Lanshima voted into vacant District 21 Metro Council seat

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Vitalis Lanshima was named the new District 21 Metro Council member Thursday night, filling the seat vacated by the removal of Dan Johnson.

Lanshima was one of 16 people who submitted applications and was appointed to the seat by a Metro Council vote on Thursday night. Johnson was removed last month by a special panel after several women accused him of sexual misconduct with three women.

"What's better than this?" Lanshima said after the vote. "This is the American Dream for me."

Lanshima is a native of Nigeria and a professor at Bellarmine University. He came to Bellarmine in 2002 on a track scholarship and worked his way up.

He lost parts of both arms to gangrene, but the now-councilman said he's never let that stand in his way nor will it keep fighting for the people in his district, including the homeless and the disabled.

"This is America. There is no reason why people should be on the streets," he said. "Coming from a very poor background and having to struggle all of my life to get to where I am today, I believe I have a lot of experience that can come to bear."

Lanshima's only been an American for four months. He spoke at a U.S citizen at a ceremony in Louisville back in August.

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