Villa Hills Mayor wants removal hearing on his own terms

VILLA HILLS, Ky. - A Northern Kentucky mayor accused of burning city documents is saying he will only be removed from office if it's on his own terms.

A removal hearing for Villa Hills Mayor Mike Martin has been scheduled for Oct. 8. According to a letter from Martin's new attorney to Villa Hills Special Counsel Phil Taliaferro, the mayor is saying he wants to be in charge of that hearing.

A judge has been selected to preside over the removal hearing, but attorney Todd McMurtry writes according to state law, the mayor "shall preside at meetings of the council." McMurtry argues it would be against the law to allow anyone but the mayor to preside over the hearing.

In the letter, Martin advises council that he has the order of the removal hearing planned. The letter says Martin will allow McMurtry and Taliaferro 15 minutes to speak, followed by six citizens.

"The mayor has instructed me to advise you that he will give you and me each 15 minutes to make whatever statements we choose at the hearing, and then allow six citizens to speak for ten minutes each not to exceed 60 minutes. Upon this presentation of evidence and argument, the mayor will call the vote of the Council. If they choose to remove him from office, they may."

Martin's attorney also wants the hearing date pushed back, saying he's not available on Oct. 8.

9 News has learned Villa Hills City Council has responded to the letter.

Stay with 9 News and WCPO.com for updates on this story.

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