Police presence now mandatory at all Villa Hills city meetings

VILLA HILLS, Ky. - Villa Hills Mayor Mike Martin issued an executive order Wednesday during a caucus meeting requiring a police presence at all city meetings.

The mayor issued an order "directing either Villa Hills Police Chief Goodenough or any other police officer to be present for every scheduled city council and caucus meeting and to enforce the laws of the Commonwealth when present."

Those laws include disrupting meetings and processions in the second degree, disorderly conduct in the second degree, inciting to riot, unlawful assembly, riot in the second degree, failure to disperse and harassment.

The mayor says the move was needed to help remove people who disrupt city proceedings.

In the past, some meetings have turned into shouting matches over issues such as the future of the Villa Hills Police Department.

On March 20, concerned citizens armed with signs and strong opinions showed up to the city council meeting expecting to be able to voice their opinions on a controversial plan to merge the Villa Hills police force with another city's department. However, Martin quickly informed people in attendance that public comment on that topic would not be heard during the event.

The controversy is the latest in Martin's troubled history in the Northern Kentucky community. In May 2012, Martine faced criminal charges after an investigation found that he burned city documents and violated ethics ordinances. Also, Martin performed electrical work in Kentucky without the proper license, which is a misdemeanor in the Bluegrass state.

Despite many residents' calls to remove Martin as mayor, city council decided to allow him to serve out the rest of his term after they failed to vote unanimously following his three day removal hearing in October 2012. Martin's term goes through Jan. 1, 2014.
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