Northern Kentucky mayor removed from office blames “system” for his ouster by the city council

Republished from WEKU.


At a noon meeting Tuesday, the Falmouth City Council voted unanimously to remove Mayor Sebastian Ernst on three charges. Ernst didn’t attend the meeting. He says the charges are frivolous and unsubstantiated.

One charge was that Ernst, a Republican, denied a request from the Pendleton County Republican Party to hold a meeting in City Hall after working hours. Ernst acknowledges he’d let the party meet there before, and that he’d said the party had moved away from what he called “conservative Christian values,” but says that’s not why he said no.

“If I’m not available, and I’m not planning on attending the Republican Party meeting, I have to like call a city employee that lives out in the county to drive all the way to Falmouth to unlock the building for him, hang around for a couple of hours on the clock, I might add, so it’s actually costing the taxpayer money.”

Another charge was that Ernst used his private Facebook page to mix mayoral and personal business. Ernst says it was his page, not the mayor’s, and that other elected officials do the same.

Ernst was also accused of pressuring a city council member to resign with a threat of making his son’s alleged misbehavior public. The son works for the county school district, and Ernst says he posted about the alleged abuse of students.

Ernst says in his year in office, the council ignored or resisted his efforts to reform or sell the city’s utilities and make what he considers other improvements. He says his removal from office by mostly appointed council members – one of whom was the former city fire chief he’d fired — was due to his identity as a conservative Republican.

“This is a buddy system. But who you know, if you know the right people, they’ll put you in if you don’t know the right people, they just impeach you.”

In 2017, City Councilmember Ernst voted with the rest of the council to remove the then-mayor of Falmouth from office. Ernst does not face criminal charges and is eligible to run again for mayor. I’m John McGary.

WEKU News called the city council and was told to contact the attorney representing the city in the case. The attorney did not return our call.

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Originally published by WEKU.

Republished with permission.