Mayor: ‘I don’t recall’

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By Forrest Berkshire, Editor

Bardstown Mayor John Royalty says he doesn’t remember if he was involved in producing two fire reports that ended up in anonymous packets targeting a city councilwoman in November. But he doesn’t deny involvement, either.

“I don’t recall asking nobody to print out fire reports,” Royalty said under oath during a recent deposition.

Royalty was answering questions from Keith Sparks, the attorney for former Bardstown Capt. Tom Roby who is suing the city and mayor for wrongful termination and defamation. Most of the eight-hour deposition concerned Roby’s demotion and termination. But Sparks also asked Royalty about some anonymous packets that were left before a Nov. 1 City Council session that contained information about Councilwoman Kecia Copeland, an outspoken critic of the mayor and his administration. Sparks justified his line of questioning as trying to establish a pattern of retaliation by the mayor against critics.

Two of the documents in the packets were fire reports on two fires the Bardstown Fire Department responded to at Copeland’s past residences. The documents indicated Todd Spalding, a Bardstown fireman, printed them. Spalding has not said publicly whether he printed the reports or, if he did, why.

Royalty repeatedly claimed he did not recall details about the packets or his involvement in producing them.

“This only occurred a few months back,” Sparks said during the December deposition. “It is your testimony that you simply can’t remember or you deny you did it?”

“I don’t recall,” Royalty responded.

“So then you may have done it?” Sparks asked.

“I do not recall,” Royalty responded.

“OK. Did you direct anyone to ask Todd Spalding to print those reports?” Sparks asked.

“Don’t recall. I don’t think … no, don’t recall,” Royalty responded.

The questioning goes on at length with Royalty responding “I don’t recall,” but not specifically denying involvement in the production of the packets.

“Is there anything impairing your memory at this moment?” Sparks finally asks.

“Nothing,” Royalty responds.

“So you don’t recall whether you were involved in this?” Sparks asks. “That’s your sworn testimony?”

“I don’t recall,” Royalty responds.

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