Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

May 9, 2014

Judge steps aside in Flatwoods chief’s suit

GREENUP —

A judge on Friday disqualified himself from hearing a lawsuit filed against the city of Flatwoods by its suspended police chief.

Saying he risked conflict of interest no matter which he ruled, Greenup Circuit Judge Bob Conley recused himself from the matter, which was filed in his court this  by Kraig Hankins’ attorney, Kenneth Reed of Ludlow.

Details of the suit aren’t known because Conley ordered the file seal. However, at Friday’s hearing, Conley said the two matters immediately before him were to grant Reed’s motions for a temporary injunction that would halt a hearing before the city council that could lead to Hankins’ removal as chief and to permanently seal the case record.

Conley did not rule on either motion, saying it would leave it up to the special judge who’s appointed to the case to do so.

Hankins’ disciplinary hearing was scheduled for 9 this morning. Conley said it was the city’s call whether to proceed with that and sources said it planned to do so.

Hankins, who was hired in 2012 to replace retiring Chief Tom Haynes, was suspended with pay last month by Mayor Bobby Crager on allegations involving. insubordination, mismanagement of the department and sexual harassment of a female city employee. Saturday’s hearing will essentially serve as a trial on those charges, with Crager serving as the judge, City Attorney Stephen McGinnis as the prosecutor and members of the city council as the jury.

 At the end of the proceeding, the council can vote to fire Hankins or to reinstate him to duty. If the ruling is to fire Hankins, the chief can appeal it in Greenup Circuit Court.

It isn’t known whether the hearing will be conducted behind closed doors or in public. That decision will be up to Hankins and Reed.

Crager has said he isn’t at liberty to discuss the situation because it involves a personnel matter.

Hankins assumed command of the department on Aug. 1, 2012, the date Haynes’ retirement became effective. The city council voted to hire the retired Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco and Explosives senior agent, who was the choice of both Crager and the committee appointed to search for Haynes’ successor.

Hankins was one of three chief candidates not already employed by the department.

KENNETH HART can be reached at khart@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2654.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • News in brief, 07/31/14

    About 450 marijuana plants were confiscated during an eradication effort in Lawrence County on Tuesday.

    July 30, 2014

  • 0731facelift1.JPG Painters finishing up work at ACTC

    When Ashland Community and Technical College students return to campus Aug. 18, they will find fresh paint, clean windows and pressure-washed brickwork on the college’s original building on College Drive.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Night Moves on tap for First Friday

    A chance to enjoy an evening run through the streets of Ashland will be among the things to do during the First Friday ArtWalk and Downtown Live for August from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday.

    July 30, 2014

  • Fairview school district being investigated

    State education investigators were scheduled to arrive in the Fairview school district this morning to interview school officials.

    July 30, 2014

  • Advisory committee on landfill to meet

    Members of the county’s new advisory committee regarding Big Run Landfill enforcement are encouraged to attend the group’s first meeting next week.
    Committee facilitator Mike Clevenger of Cannonsburg said the panel will meet the first Monday of each month, starting next week. For now, all meetings will be at 6:30 p.m. at the Boyd County Community Center.

    July 30, 2014

  • Highway dedicated in Morehead man’s name

    During Wednesday morning’s highway dedication ceremony for late airman Daniel N. Fannin, 30, of Morehead, the man was honored as a Kentucky hero for dedicating his life to the U.S. Air Force until his untimely death last year.

    July 30, 2014

  • Stumbo questions Noah’s Ark incentives, backs off on expanded gambling

    Democratic Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo on Wednesday questioned the constitutionality of state incentives for a Noah’s Ark tourist attraction in Grant County.

    July 30, 2014

  • Night Moves for First Friday

    A chance to enjoy an evening run through the streets of Ashland will be among the things to do during the First Friday ArtWalk and Downtown Live for August in downtown Ashland from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday.

    July 30, 2014

  • ‘Arts in the Vines’ will be in conjunction with U.S. 60 Yard Sale

    Offering a different taste of life in Carter County, the owners of RockSprings Winery are inviting locals and visitors to the U.S. 60 Yard Sale to spend some time in their vineyards during the first “Arts in the Vines” from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday.

    July 30, 2014

  • Grimes zeroes in on women’s issues with latest ad

    Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is out with a third television ad posing questions from Grimes’ supporters to Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

    July 30, 2014