Thursday November 17, 2011
For Immediate Release:
Louisville Metro COuncil
Contact: Tony Hyatt 574-4137/526-3622
Stephen Haag 574-1204/645-1752
After meeting with Chief Robert White, three Louisville Metro Council members are moving forward with a proposed resolution and ordinance which deals with Jefferson County Constable David Whitlock.
Council members Rick Blackwell (D-12), Kelly Downard (R-16) and David James (D-6) have been in the process of reviewing the duties of Constables since a shooting last month involving Whitlock.
The resolution calls upon the Jefferson County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office to review alleged violations of Kentucky Revised Statues by the Constable. The resolution says the review should determine if there has been misfeasance or malfeasance in office or willful neglect in the discharge of his official duties.
“In reviewing what actions can be taken, this appears to be the proper course of action in dealing with an elected state official,” says Blackwell. “As a matter of public safety, the time has come to review someone who is allegedly not interested in upholding the laws of the Commonwealth.”
The resolution cites Whitlock in several alleged violations; wearing a uniform and using a badge, failure to file monthly reports on activity with the Jefferson County clerk, using oscillating blue lights and a siren which has not been allowed by law since 2007 and illegally deputizing staff members to perform the duties of deputy constables.
The proposed ordinance re-enforces what a constable can and cannot do in Jefferson County.
“The ordinance will clearly spell out that a constable can wear a badge and a uniform but the uniform must not resemble that of the Jefferson County Sheriff or Sheriff’s Deputy and it must not resemble the uniform of a Louisville Metro Police Officer. The staff of the Constable will not be allowed to wear a uniform or carry a badge.” says James.
Violation of the proposed ordinance would be a Class B Misdemeanor punishable by a fine ranging from $250 to $500 and up to 90 days in jail.
“We are adding more teeth to the current ordinance,” says James. “The public should know that a constable is restricted by the State Constitution to certain legal duties. There is a major safety concern when we have peace officers that are untrained and unwilling to follow the law.”
Both measures will receive first reading on Thursday night during the Metro Council’s regular meeting.
Rick Blackwell (D) 12
David James (D) 6
Kelly Downard (D) 16