Villa Hills mayor says he won't resign amid investigation

VILLA HILLS, Ky. - A Northern Kentucky mayor's future is in the hands of his city's council after the findings of an investigation into the mayor's conduct were revealed during a meeting Monday night.

A special city council meeting was held to discuss the findings of an investigation into the dealings of Villa Hills Mayor Mike Martin. Villa Hills residents packed the River Ridge Elementary School cafeteria to hear about the fate of Martin's job

The special investigation's findings pointed to several potential violations by the mayor. They included open records request improperly fulfilled, improperly destroyed or burned documents and expenditures made without purchase orders or submitted bids.

Also, the investigation included information about Mayor Martin's business practices.

He apparently had done electrical and plumbing work for residents in Villa Hills and other areas of Northern Kentucky. However, the investigation disclosed that he does not have a license to perform those jobs as required by Kentucky state law. That violation is a misdemeanor if he were to be charged and convicted.

Martin said even through he is the focus of the investigation, he will continue to work to improve Villa Hills and will not resign.

"I continue to do that and I will continue to do that until I'm either removed from office and/or finish my term," he said.

Phil Taliaferro of Taliaferro, Carran and Keys was the special counsel hired for the investigation last year. After several months of research, he focused on 11 areas during the presentation.

"There's definitely inaccuracies," said Mayor Mike Martin. "We've never had a sit down or an interview with Mr. Taliaferro and his company."

Instead, Mayor Martin answered a lengthy questionnaire in writing from Taliaferro. The issues included whether Mayor Martin destroyed city documents, retaliated against the police chief, violated ethics ordinances and improperly spent city money.

It's been a hot topic in Villa Hills and everyone had an opinion.

"He's not followed the law on so many things," said Villa Hills resident Ken Kallmeyer after the meeting. "He's just not a good administrator."

City council member Jim Noll defended Mayor Martin after the meeting.

"I don't think the council learned anything new tonight. I didn't learn anything new tonight," said Noll.

At the same time, there were areas where the investigation seemed to find no wrongdoing.

When 9 News asked Mayor Martin if he had perhaps made mistakes, he said, "I'm not necessarily convinced I made mistakes. Could I have made different decisions? Possibly."

No formal decision was made at the meeting. The Villa Hills City Council will decide what to do next.

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