BY TERRY FLYNN
The Cincinnati Enquirer
FRANKFORT -- The Kentucky Court of Appeals Friday affirmed a Kenton Circuit Court decision that two unsuccessful Independence mayoral candidates could not seek the ouster of Mayor Isaac Gabbard.
James Ellison and Scott Holten, who finished second and third, respectively, to Mr. Gabbard in a 1993 primary election for Independence mayor, charged that Mr. Gabbard was ineligible to hold office because he was not a qualified Kentucky voter as the result of a 1954 felony conviction in Ohio.
Mr. Gabbard filed for election in January of 1993 and filed an application with the Kentucky Corrections Cabinet at the same time seeking to restore his Kentucky civil rights, referring to the Ohio felony of receiving stolen property. The application was granted in April, 1993.
He was convicted of the felony in 1954, was placed on probation and later had all his voting and citizenship rights in Ohio restored. He subsequently moved to Independence.
Last year Kenton Circuit Judge Douglas Stephens granted summary judgment to Mr. Gabbard, saying that in view of the two finishing behind him in the primary and Mr. Ellison's defeat by Mr. Gabbard in the general election, the two men had no standing to maintain an ouster action.
The Appeals Court affirmed Judge Stephens' decision.
In other action Friday, the Court of Appeals reversed a Kenton Circuit Court order requiring the Department of Public Advocacy (DPA) to pay fees in excess of statutory limits to the two attorneys who successfully represented Michael Funk in his murder trials.
Judge Douglas Stephens ordered the DPA to pay attorney Deanna Dennison $15,000 and attorney Margo Grubbs $10,000 for their work in Mr. Funk's two trials following a successful appeal of his murder conviction.
The appeals court, relying on a section of the Kentucky Revised Code, said DPA could not be held responsible for fees above what would normally be paid.
The court agreed that the higher fees should be awarded because of the complexities of the case, but said the county must pay part of the fees.
The appeals court also upheld a Kenton Circuit Court judgment that found attorney Thomas Roberts liable for $814,281 plus interest mistakenly transferred to his account by an Australian bank.
Mr. Roberts, of Erlanger was to receive $8,255.07 from an acquaintance in Sydney, Australia. But somewhere in the transfer process the decimal point was misplaced and the amount transferred was $822,537.00, $814,281.93 more than requested.
Within 48 hours after the deposit was made, Mr. Roberts transferred almost all of the funds to third parties.