Villa Hills mayor appearing in court Friday

VILLA HILLS, Ky. - A Northern Kentucky mayor will soon find out whether or not he can preside over his own removal hearing.

Villa Hills Mayor Mike Martin will be in front of a Kenton County judge Friday morning fighting for an injunction in his removal hearing. Martin is arguing he should be able to preside over the removal hearing instead of an assigned judge. In the complaint, Martin said city council is violating his rights for not allowing him to preside over the removal hearing.

Martin also handed down an executive order Thursday for the removal hearing. 9 News obtained the order that says city employees and police who attend Monday's hearing will be arrested for trespassing, even though several city employees and police officers are scheduled to testify at the hearing.

This week, Martin also announced he was suing several members of city council.

The mayor's lawsuit asks that four council members, in particular, be individually liable for the more than $50,000 in "special counsel" attorney fees Martin said the city's accumulated illegally. He calls their actions "vindictive."

"The mayor does not oppose the removal hearing," Martin's attorney Todd McMurtry said. "The mayor only wants to see that the removal hearing is conducted according to law in Kentucky and we really have a legal dispute, we don't have a personal dispute, and have legal dispute on how things are to be handled."

Martin is facing removal from office after the city hired Special Counsel Phil Taliaferro to conduct an investigation into the mayor's ethics. Taliaferro found Martin burned city documents, used retaliatory behavior towards city employees, and performed electrical work without the proper Kentucky license -- which is a misdemeanor.

Martin's removal hearing is currently scheduled for Monday at 6:30 p.m., with a retired judge presiding over the hearing.

The hearing for the injunction is Friday at 9 a.m. in Judge Patricia Summe's courtroom.

Judge Summe will decide whether the removal hearing will go on as scheduled, and if it does, who will run that hearing.

All six councilmen must vote unanimously to remove the mayor from office.

Stay with 9 News and for updates on this story.

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