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Government

  • Lawyers (and fees) keep being added to council’s attempt to remove mayor

    The roster of lawyers involved in the Bardstown City Council’s effort to remove Mayor John Royalty continues to grow.

    Tuesday night, another name was added to the list.

    Former City Attorney Bruce Reynolds was selected to represent the city in case Royalty’s attorneys attempted to file a motion in court to delay the hearing past the scheduled date of April 12. His services would only be obtained if needed, and would cost the city $150 an hour. On Wednesday, Royalty filed suit.

  • Council tending to details of mayor’s removal hearing

    The Bardstown City Council spent Tuesday night’s working session attending to details of the hearing scheduled for next week that could potentially remove from office Mayor John Royalty, who did not attend.

    Two more lawyers were added to the mix.

    Doughlas M. “Dodie” George, a retired circuit court judge from Lebanon, was approved as the hearing officer for Wednesday’s hearing.

  • Origin of court records still not confirmed

    The investigation report into Mayor John Royalty’s administration laid out a thorough theory on the origination of many of the documents comprised by anonymous packets revealed at the Nov. 1 city council session.

    The vast majority of those documents were about Councilwoman Kecia Copeland and included two reports from fires at her past residences, an internet rant about her from several years ago and several pages from a professional-level account with the Administrative Office of the Courts that detailed minor traffic violations and small claims court cases.

  • Investigators say mayor continued to monitor emails after election

    Mayor John Royalty is accused of ordering city workers to gain access to Councilwoman Kecia Copeland’s email in October, but investigators also say he continued to monitor her communications after the election and after her attorney sent him a cease and desist order.

    Royalty gained access to Copeland’s account through her city-owned iPad in October, according to the investigation’s findings that were presented Tuesday.

    But in December, Copeland was issued a new, “official iPad” and returned her old tablet.

  • More at stake than mayor’s job

    The findings from an investigation released last week could have wider implications than whether Bardstown Mayor John Royalty can hang onto his job.

    It could also expose him to criminal charges and harm the city’s position as it defends itself in an unrelated defamation lawsuit seeking $2.7 million in damages.

  • Mayor accused of lurking, listening at door while investigators interview worker

    Mattmiller Crosbie, the Lexington law firm of Scott Crosbie hired to head up the inquiry into the administration of Mayor John Royalty, hired two retired FBI agents to do much of the shoe leather detective work.

    That included interviewing more than 18 people over the three months. But one of those interviews was unusual enough that it warranted special mention in the report delivered to Bardstown City Council Tuesday.

  • Bill Buckman during presentation: That’s a lie!

    Even before he was involved in distributing packets of public records about Councilwoman Kecia Copeland to City Council members at the Nov. 1 meeting, Mayor John Royalty electronically distributed an Internet rant about Copeland to his assistant, Kathy Graham, and his friend, then-Councilman Bill Buckman, according to the investigation findings.

    But Buckman denied he was the recipient of Royalty’s email containing a link to the Rip-Off Report, which included anonymous accusations about Copeland’s employment history from several years ago.

  • Fireman finally gets his story out

    The origin of two fire department reports about fires at former residences of Councilwoman Kecia Copeland were included in a batch of documents left anonymously at a Bardstown City Council session are finally confirmed.

    Fireman Todd Spalding printed them, on the orders of Mayor John Royalty, according to the findings of a three-month investigation released Tuesday night. In fact, the report states, Royalty asked him to print them twice.

  • City investigation cast a wide net

    Scott Crosbie and two retired federal investigators spent three months compiling the 44-page report on the inquiry as to whether Bardstown Mayor John Royalty abused the power of his office and authority.

    The scope of the investigation encompassed numerous open records requests submitted to the city that produced more than 5,000 documents to piece together, and interviews with 18 named individuals, plus other “confidential, background sources.”

  • Report alleges racial animosity between mayor, council members

    City Council members and former city workers told investigators Bardstown Mayor John Royalty had a history of vindictiveness and using racial slurs, and singled out three black City Council members for special nicknames.

    Former Fire Chief Marlin Howard, who was fired by Royalty, said he had “heard Mayor Royalty speak in a derogatory way about African-Americans including using the N word,” according to the investigation’s findings released Tuesday night.