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Removal Of Jefferson Davis Plaque Stalls On Legal Question

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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — After a lot of debate, a commission voted last month to remove a plaque attached to the statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in the state Capitol Rotunda. Now the group hoping to do that is not sure that it has the legal power to remove it. 

The placement of Confederate monuments across the commonwealth is being debated. In Frankfort, it's a small piece that the Historic Properties Advisory Commission wants to take down.  

"It's a bronze plaque. It has some spikes in the back," said Leslie Nigels, the rotunda committee secretary. "They can pull it forward a bit. I think we can just simply, essentially, pry it off carefully."

Last month, the commission voted to do so, but at the meeting  Wednesday, a question came up: Are they legally allowed to do that?

"There was certainly legislation when the statue was installed, and we just want to be sure that then the mandate was given entirely to the commission," said Nigels.

So far, the group said it hasn't been sued by anyone for moving forward with its plan. However, Kentucky's past president of the United Daughters of the Confederacy said she wanted the plaque to stay where it is.

"Jefferson Davis was a hero. He was a war hero. He was a patriot," said Susan McCrobie. 

The commission said it hopes to get a legal answer about whether they can take the plaque down by its next meeting.

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