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Ackerson calls on GAE Committee to begin an investigation into Courier-Journal articles on Shanklin

Friday July 6, 2012

For Immediate Release:
Louisville Metro Council
Contact: Tony Hyatt 574-4137/526-3622

Louisville --Councilman Brent Ackerson (D-26), Vice Chair of Metro Council Government Accountability Committee is calling upon the Committee’s Chair, Jerry Miller, R-19, to formally begin a Committee inquiry and investigation into matters related to Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin, the Petersburg/Newburg Improvement Association, and an upholstery training program.

Ackerson, as Vice Chair of the Government Accountability Committee, does not have the authority to set the Committee’s priorities or agenda. The Committee’s Chair does have such authority. As Vice Chair of that Committee, Ackerson formally requests that the Committee’s Chair make these matters a priority and schedule such on the agenda for discussion.

The Courier-Journal reported stories related to Councilwoman Shanklin, the Petersburg/Newburg Improvement Association, and an upholstery training program on June 10, 2012, June 23, 2012, and July 6, 2012.

“As an Elected Official and Vice Chair of the Government Accountability Committee, I have been very concerned about matters raised in recent news stories about oversight of City funds. At this time, I have not been presented with all the facts, I do not have the authority or resources to conduct my own independent investigation, nor have I been informed that a formal investigative body is looking into these serious matters, other than a city audit that has been going on since December of last year. I do not believe that our role as an elected body should be passive in this instance where public trust and transparency are at risk. I believe that my responsibility to those that I represent is to protect their faith and trust that their government is doing all it can to protect their tax dollars,” says Ackerson.

From Ackerson’s prospective, other than a person filing a formal complaint with the Metro Ethics Commission, there is no other means to formally ensure that a thorough publicly transparent investigation of all the facts occurs. Without such a formal and thorough investigation, the matters are left to be determined in public supposition and presumptions. Such is not fair to the Council or the public at large.

“I do not believe that we as elected Council Members, Democrats or Republicans, should put this onerous task on some citizen to file an ethics complaint to force a public inquiry into the facts of these matters. The public is seeking answers from their government. While the Government Accountability Committee has not handled a matter of this nature before, it has conducted formal public inquiry into matters related to public trust, accountability, and transparency. These matters bring me no pleasure, but I owe a thorough public inquiry to my constituents, and believe that Councilwoman Shanklin is also served by having all the facts come to public light,” continued Ackerson.

Sponsor:
Brent Ackerson (D) 26