Mayor files suit to delay removal hearing

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By Forrest Berkshire, Editor

Bardstown Mayor John Royalty filed a lawsuit in Nelson Circuit Court late Wednesday attempting to halt next week’s scheduled hearing that could result in his removal from office.

The suit was filed about 5:30 p.m. by Royalty’s attorney, Jason Floyd, and accuses the Bardstown City Council and its investigator of denying Royalty his due process.

The complaint calls the investigation a “sham attempt, cloaked in the secrecy of alleged ‘attorney-client privilege,’ to conduct a three month discovery investigation to provide evidence to remove the Mayor.”

The lawsuit is a broadside against several aspects of the public hearing scheduled for April 12 at 10 a.m. Among its claims:

• The suit seeks to disqualify City Council members from voting on the mayor’s removal because they “cannot possibly” be “fair and impartial” and could be called as witnesses.

• It seeks to disqualify the council’s investigator, Lexington lawyer Scott Crosbie, because he could also be called as a witness. The suit claims Crosbie will be Royalty’s “primary witness” in the case.

• It also asks that the lawyer selected to defend any court actions such as the lawsuit, former Bardstown City Attorney Bruce Reynolds, be removed from representing the city. The council authorized itself Tuesday to enter into a contract with Reynolds for just such an instance as the lawsuit that was filed seeking to delay the hearing.

• It asks the court to prohibit any documents or statements obtained during the investigation, which Royalty claims were obtained in a violation of the law.

The case was assigned to Nelson Circuit Court Judge Charles Simms, but as of the deadline for The Kentucky Standard’s print edition, no hearings on the suit had been scheduled.

It also asks “temporary and permanent injunctive relief” to stop the city council from conducting Wednesday’s hearing, damages to be determined at trial, punitive damages and a trial by jury.

Read the full complaint below or online here.