Covering Kentucky

May 16, 2014 3:21 PM

Council Votes To Oust Hodgenville Mayor

HODGENVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A City Council in central Kentucky has ousted the mayor following his indictment on charges of theft and abusing public trust.

The News-Enterprise reports Hodgenville City Council members voted unanimously Thursday night to remove Mayor Terry L. Cruse from office after a daylong hearing.

The decision stemmed in part from a state police investigation of Cruse and City Clerk MaDonna Hornback that led to criminal charges.

A grand jury indictment issued in December accuses both of using a city-issued fuel credit card to make personal purchases and taking money from the city. Cruse and Hornback have denied the allegations.

After removing Cruse, the officials appointed Councilman Kenny DeVore as interim mayor.

"Whatever happens, I'll be fine," Cruse told the newspaper while the council discussed the matter. "I think I've done a good job here. I think it's evident I've done a good job here."

He said he thought most council members already had their minds made up.

"Before we started, five would get me no matter what," he said. "They all have their own agendas. They have this whole time. This hearing is a political hearing. It's plain and simple."

In his closing arguments, Cruse's attorney, Ron Mather, said the police report doesn't show criminal activity occurred, but instead shows a potential problem.

"It is not an out and out finding that this was illegal," said Mather, who suggested the gas cards were used for city purposes.

Cruse, who was in his second term as mayor, is a candidate for LaRue County sheriff in Tuesday's primary election.

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Information from: The News-Enterprise

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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