Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)


November 30, 2012

Olive Hill Council refuses comment, resignation still unclear

Nov. 30, 2012 — Olive Hill City Council held a special meeting Thursday night but did not address the legal issues facing the current mayor.

Mayor Danny Sparks was arrested Wednesday by FADE after a weeks-long investigation. He was charged with marijuana trafficking within 1,000 feet of a school, a felony, after having been detained near Olive Hill Elementary.

In the mayor’s absence Thursday, Council voted for Council member Kenny Fankell to preside at the meeting, which addressed the second reading of the property tax ordinance.  The rate will stay the same as the 2012 rate of .1941 per hundred dollars. The ordinance was the only item listed on the agenda  distributed to the media on Wednesday afternoon. 

Although the Council could have called an emergency meeting under Kentucky Revised Statute 61.823(5), the meeting concluded swiftly and members declined to comment. 

An incoming Council member called for Sparks’ immediate resignation.

“He owes us his resignation,” said Glen Meade after the meeting, saying Sparks had broken the city’s trust.

Meade, who was elected this month but has not yet taken office, said Sparks should resign immediately and not wait for his case to be concluded.

Whether Sparks will resign, or has resigned, is unclear. Sparks had submitted a letter of resignation following his arrest. However, although copies of the letter are circulating in Olive Hill, the location of the original document is unknown. 

The current Council members would not comment on Sparks’ arrest or his future with the city. They said they have no information beyond what they’d read in news reports.

Council members would not say whether or when they plan to schedule another meeting to discuss the mayor's situation.

Kentucky law requires that for Sparks to resign the Council will have to receive  his written notice. The resignation then becomes effective at the next Council meeting.  If he does resign, Council has 30 days to appoint a new mayor, and if it fails to do so, the governor will make the appointment. An appointed mayor would serve until the 2014 election cycle.

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