Government & Politics  June 21, 2024

Louisville officials investigating city manager

LOUISVILLE — Louisville’s elected leaders are investigating the city’s top unelected official.

For what? They won’t say. 

During an emergency meeting on Wednesday, Louisville City Council unanimously approved a measure to probe the conduct of Louisville city manager Jeff Durbin.

“It is regarding the city manager,” Louisville city attorney Kathleen Kelly said before City Council — which meets for its regular meetings on Tuesdays — decamped for nearly three hours on Wednesday into an executive session.

The executive session — held outside of the view of everyone other than members of Louisville City Council; Louisville city attorney Kathleen Kelly; and attorney Marni Kloster, described by Louisville mayor Chris Leh as a “special counsel” — was “for the purpose of discussing a personnel matter involving the city manager, an employee directly appointed by the City Council,” Kelly said.

After huddling for hours, the group emerged. “In follow-up to the executive session, I request that City Council authorize the mayor and special counsel to take such actions as necessary for further handling of this matter, including to the extent appropriate an investigation, and that the deputy city manager will perform duties in the interim,” Kelly said.

That request was granted by Louisville City Council. 

BizWest reached out to all of the members of Louisville City Council, as well as the city’s appointed leadership, for comment on Thursday.

Durbin, who BizWest also reached out to on LinkedIn, had an out-of-office email response that said he is “temporally [sic] unavailable,” directing correspondence to Louisville’s deputy city manager Samma Fox.

BizWest asked Louisville officials and staff for any information regarding the goal and nature of the investigation and how long it is expected to take.

“This is a personnel matter for which, at this time, I cannot comment, but if and when the City can comment we will,” a Louisville spokesperson said in an email.

In response to an emailed follow-up question about who is in charge of the day-to-day business of Louisville’s government, the city said that “deputy city manager, Samma Fox, is our acting city manager temporarily.”

The city did not comment on whether Durbin has been officially suspended or whether a suspension is with or without pay.

Louisville’s elected leaders are investigating the city’s top unelected official. For what? They won’t say.

Lucas High
A Maryland native, Lucas has worked at news agencies from Wyoming to South Carolina before putting roots down in Colorado.
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