Curtis Morrison: Fischer head fake to Metro Council Appointment Committee fails as mayor-vs-council duel intensifies
By Curtis Morrison
As the mayor-vs-metro council duel intensifies, the Fischer Administration seems intent on stacking the deck as it heads toward a possible showdown over ethics allegations involving Metro Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin.
Last Monday, July 9, Mayor Greg Fischer informed Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Council President Jim King by letter that he was appointing Susan Rhodes to be a member of the Ethics Commission.
“Metro Council approval of this appointment is not required,” reads the last line of Fischer’s letter.
Actually, Metro Louisville’s Ethics Commission may be a board appointed by the mayor, but the appointments are still subject to Metro Council approval pursuant to the Ethics Ordinance.
In fact, Metro Council’s Committee on Appointments already has Rhodes’ appointment listed for their consideration on their next meeting’s agenda, set for tomorrow, Tues., July 17, at 4:30 p.m.
“You are correct – the Ethics Commission does need Metro Council approval. Our Boards and Commission office has already corrected that error with Council,” Fischer spokesman Chris Poynter wrote to us in an email this afternoon.
The Metro Council is somewhat famous for rubber-stamping Fischer’s appointees. From that perspective, we see how he’d forget they had a say.
Fischer’s letter also served to reappoint Commissioners Thelma Clemons, Terry Conway, Jonathan Ricketts, Vicki Tabler, and Enid Frances Trucios-Haynes.
The only Ethics Commission members not reappointed were Gus G. “Skip” Daleure, Jr., whose term ends on June 30, 2012, and and Terri Todd, who is being replaced by Rhodes.
According to information supplied in her application form, Rhodes has never served on a city board or commission before, and is an assistant to Dan Hall, vice president for Community Engagement at the University of Louisville. Rhodes would make the second U of L employee on the commission.
Enid Trucios-Haynes teaches law at U of L’s Brandeis School of Law.
Rhodes’ husband, Daryl Rhodes, Sr., serves as one of the five members of the Waste Management Board. Daryl Rhodes’ commission expires Jan. 15, 2013.
Also last week, Common Cause Kentucky, a non-profit government watchdog group, filed a complaint with the Ethics Commission against Councilwoman Shanklin.
That complaint alleges ethics problems with $30,000 in funding Shanklin procured for a program to help former inmates, and the councilwoman’s employment of her grandson following his felony arrests.
About Curtis Morrison: Curtis Morrison is a journalist who blogs at Louisville Courant. Morrison is a political activist, active in historic-preservation efforts. He is a board member of Neighborhoods Planning and Preservation.