Vote expected Wednesday in Villa Hills mayor removal hearing

VILLA HILLS, Ky. - Villa Hills City Council is expected to vote Wednesday on whether to remove the mayor from office.

The expected vote is the result of a three-day removal hearing that started Monday. The third and final day of the hearing is Wednesday.

It would take a unanimous vote to remove Martin from office.

All six council members voted to hold the removal hearing after an investigation into the mayor's ethics. The investigation, conducted by Special Counsel Phil Taliaferro, found Martin burned city documents and used retaliatory behavior against city employees.

Tuesday's removal hearing lasted nearly four hours. Jerry Carlton with the Kentucky Department of Library and Archives, Public Works Director Buck Yelton, Interim City Clerk Sue Bree, and Assistant City Clerk Kim Robbins were called to testify.

Robbins has previously told a Kenton County judge she witnessed Martin shredding city documents, even after the judge told him not to do so.

On Monday, Martin denied accusations from the prosecutor that he has acted as if he's above the law during his time as mayor.

The prosecution is trying to prove willful misconduct on the part of Martin.

When asked if having a city employee print more than 2,000 political documents during working hours violated the Villa Hills ethics ordinance Martin said, "I don't know what the ordinance states, so I don't know."

Martin's attorney says the proceedings are a waste of time and money.

"What we have is a circumstance where a mayor came in as a mayor, learned some lessons as he went forward, none of which amounts to anything sufficiently severe to undo the will of the people of Villa Hills that elected him as mayor," said Martin's attorney Todd McMurtry.

The hearing will continue Wednesday at 6 p.m. at River Ridge Elementary, 2772 Amsterdam Road.

If the council votes to remove Martin at the end of the three-day hearing, the council will have 30 days to select a person to fill the position as the city's mayor. That person would finish the rest of Martin's term, which extends through Jan. 1, 2014.

If the council is not able to fill the position within the 30-day period, Kentucky's governor, Steve Beshear will appoint the mayor, according to Kentucky law.

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