Councilman cast his votes despite opinion - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Councilman cast his votes despite opinion

David James David James
Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Metro Council member cast his votes during a meeting held Thursday night despite being advised not to.

On Wednesday Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell advised Councilman David James (D-6) not to cast any votes, stating his votes may be illegal after his job was called into question.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Council member to chose between his job and his seat]

James, who also works as a University of Louisville police officer, did not take the advice. The way he and his lawyers see it, for now O'Connell's opinion is just that and nothing more.

"I plan on voting," James said right before the meeting, and he did, voting on several matters in front of the Metro Council.

O'Connell maintained because the councilman took two oaths of office, one on the council and the other as a police officer, the state constitution does not allow him to hold both positions. Metro Council President Jim King met with James and told him he would support his decision to vote.

Questions continue to come surrounding the timing of O'Connell's opinion since James has served on the council and as a police officer for years. James said, "When I ran for election, everyone knew I was an officer and I've come up here in uniform several times." 

James added that the husband of the County Attorney's legislative assistant even worked for him as a police officer at UofL.

James said political retribution may be why it's coming up now.

"It could also be a possibility who I support in other elections," he said. He confirmed while O'Connell supported his campaign, James is now supporting O'Connell's opponent Attorney Karen Faulkner in the primary.

O'Connell said that's not the case. He again repeated why he brought the issue up in the first place. 

"A request was made by two Louisville Police Officers about whether or not they could legally run and hold office in Oldham County," he said.

So does O'Connell think the votes cast Thursday night are legal or illegal?

"Well, I think that's an issue that may have to be decided later on," O'Connell said, "I've turned this matter over to the Attorney General."

None of the votes Thursday night were close, so whether James' votes were legal or not shouldn't effect any of the votes taken. Attorney General Jack Conway will have to decide this matter, but James is trying to resolve it himself as he's looking at other options like possibly another position at UofL or somewhere else.

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