The scenic city overlooking the Ohio River in Kenton County is without its police chief this week.
VILLA HILLS, Ky. – The scenic city overlooking the Ohio River in Kenton County is without its police chief this week.
Attorney Randy Freking confirmed the city’s embattled mayor suspended Villa Hills Police Chief Daniel P. Goodenough last week.
Mayor Mike Martin did not tell Goodenough why he relieved him of duty either, said Freking, who is representing Goodenough.
Phone calls and emails to city council and the mayor were met last week with no comments. Council members cited privacy claims since Goodenough’s suspension was a personnel matter.
Villa Hills Civic's Club President Ernie Brown told WCPO that Martin issued an executive order that forbid council and city employees from speaking about Goodenough.
This week’s incident is the latest in a long series of contentious confrontations involving the mayor, council, and police department since he took office in January 2011.
Martin filed a federal lawsuit against Goodenough and Assistant Police Chief Joe Schutzman under claims of false arrest and retaliatory and malicious prosecution. That suit was dismissed in court in 2012.
Martin was not convicted on charges surrounding for the handling of his mother’s estate that triggered his claims.
Additionally in 2013, Martin suspended Joe Schutzman for what he said was gross misconduct and political activism. Council gave Schutzman his job back after a majority vote in June 2013.
Both Schutzman and Martin launched investigations of one another’s work in their official capacity over the years as well.
Martin survived a vote by a city council to have him removed from office after allegations of ethical lapses and allegations of wrongdoing while in office in 2012.
The mayor has also campaigned throughout his tenure to dissolve the city's police department and contract with another entity.
Martin is in his last year of mayor. He has yet to file to run for re-election.