Whistle-blower law may help inquiry into source of dossiers on mayor’s critics

The Bardstown City Council is calling a special meeting for Thursday to consider a whistle-blower-protection law.

There is currently no city law that shields city workers from retribution by the administration for reporting wrongdoing.

That lack of protection has become an issue in an open investigation as to whether city resources were used improperly in an effort to influence November’s city council elections.

The council has hired Lexington attorney Scott Crosbie to investigate a batch of dossiers left anonymously a week before the Nov. 8 election that contained personal information about Councilwoman Kecia Copeland and former Councilman Francis Lydian, outspoken critics of Royalty and some people in his administration.

Included in those packets were two reports by the Bardstown Fire Department detailing fires at Copeland’s past homes. Neither of the fires was considered suspicious. Those reports listed a city firefighter, Todd Spalding, as having printed them. Spalding has declined to explain publicly why his name was listed as the person who printed the reports, whether he did print them and, if he did, whether he was ordered to do so by a city official or supervisor.

If he were to speak, he could probably legally be terminated from his employment, absent any city protections. On Monday afternoon, Kelley, a former county attorney, said there are state laws protecting whistle-blowers, but they don’t necessarily apply to the city and its workers.

One of the first actions by the City Council was to hire Crosbie to conduct the investigation. He was hired Jan. 3, and has been in Bardstown several times since then, gathering information. He could present his first report to the council by mid-February.

The meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday at the City Council chambers at 220 North Fifth Street. Because the proposal is an ordinance, two readings would be required before it could take effect.