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Louisville Metro Council to consider vote of no-confidence in Mayor Greg Fischer

The resolution requests Fischer's resignation from office and calls for a no-confidence vote.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Metro Council's Minority Caucus members have co-sponsored a resolution calling for a vote of no-confidence in Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, requesting his resignation from office.

The resolution says members of the council believe new leadership is essential to "bringing the change that is needed at LMPD," saying there is a lack of trust between the government and citizens due to "false claims of transparency and accountability."

The seven Republican co-sponsors specifically mentioned sexual abuse scandals in the LMPD Explorer program, TARC and Louisville Metro Animal Services, as well as record-high homicide rates as reasons for the vote.

Additionally, the resolution said Fischer has "chosen to prevent" his staff from participating in Metro Council hearings focused on the death of Breonna Taylor and said it took Fischer "77 days to acknowledge his administration has refused to enforce local and state laws" to the detriment of public safety for protesters and those who live and work downtown.

It's a move metro council Republicans say they didn't want to make, but had no option.

"Nobody wanted this but we feel like we have no choice but to do this," Councilman Scott Reed, (R-16) said.

All seven Republicans on the council signed on to the resolution, but at this time, no Democrats are co-sponsors.

"This was a move that makes absolute no good sense," Councilwoman Barbara Sexton- Smith, (D-4) said. 

The council Republicans said the last straw came when the city decided to sue Metro Council over its investigation into Fischer's administration's handling of protests and other issues. Council issued subpoenas after the city's top public safety officials refused to testify.

"We have tried and tried and tried to work through a process to get information and this is us stepping in that process," Minority Caucus Chair Councilman Kevin Kramer, (R-11) said.

"We tried to go the non-partisan, the open, the transparent, just tell us what's going on. He's the one that went so far as to sue us to put a stop to that," Councilman James Peden, (R-23) said.

The resolution said the mayor has shown a lack of leadership and transparency.

"If his actions in the past are any indicator of how he's going to act in the future, he will continue fighting every step of the way to stop any probing into the truth," Councilman Anthony Piagentini, (R-19) said. 

"We have sought answers through cooperative means but have been denied access to information and people who have been out front working to implement the Mayor’s policies," Minority Caucus Chair Kevin Kramer said. "The Mayor’s decision to file suit against the Metro Council to deny us the opportunity to question government employees left us with little hope that Mayor Fischer will do the right thing. I feel there is nothing left that can be done, except seek the Mayor’s resignation."

In a statement, Fischer said the Republican council members were bringing "partisan and divisive political games" to Louisville.

"These are difficult times for all cities in America, ours included, and these challenges are bigger than any one person," Fischer said. "As previously said, as Mayor I have responsibility for addressing these challenges and I am deeply sorry for the hurt experienced by so many. But now is the time for all elected officials to work together, more than ever, toward common solutions to the ongoing crises of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic downturn and the calls for racial justice. That’s what I’m doing. Louisville residents deserve no less."

The resolution would not remove Fischer from office, but allows members of the council to express their position on the decisions the Fisher administration has made.

Council President David James, (D-6) said he doesn't know how he will vote on the resolution, but doesn't believe the resolution was a political show.

"There is frustrations with the level of transparency the mayor has provided throughout all different sorts of things within our community," James said.

Councilman Bill Hollander, (D-9) said, "Council republicans are taking a page out of President Trump's playbook and distracting us with a political sideshow."
Councilman Markus Winkler, (D-17), called it "political theater."

"Oh my gosh, what a colossal waste of time for Metro Council and the taxpayers' money," Councilwoman Barbara Sexton-Smith, (D-4). "We have so many serious issues that we need to be focusing on."

The resolution will be assigned to a Metro Council committee and from there the earliest the full council would take a vote on it is at its meeting Sept. 3. 

Congressman John Yarmuth released the following statement: 

The entire community should reject the efforts of Republican Metro Council members to undermine the Mayor of Louisville as he strives to lead us through an extremely difficult period in our history. Like most other major American cities, Louisville is facing several daunting challenges: legitimate calls for reform of our local policing policies; a persistent pandemic that has stressed every aspect of our civic life; and the economic consequences of months of restricted activity. Additionally, we have the unresolved case of the tragic killing of Breonna Taylor. Those challenges demand cooperative and thoughtful action. The baldly partisan move of the Republican council members is clearly designed to sabotage our local leadership at precisely the wrong time. It is irresponsible and damaging.

Republican council members should abandon their attempt to undermine Mayor Fischer, and I hope all Democratic council members will stand together against this ill-advised Republican effort as we work as a community to meet the tests of our time.

RELATED: City seeks to block open testimony of public safety officials in lawsuit filed against Metro Council

RELATED: Metro Council authorizes subpoenas after LMPD chief, public safety chief walk out of committee hearing without testifying

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