Courier-Journal This story is developing and will be updated..
Metro Councilman Brent Ackerson told the Courier-Journal on Wednesday that he plans to run for the seat in the Democratic primary, which could be one of the more hotly contested local races in 2018.
More on Brent Ackerson
This month, for instance, O’Connell grilled Metro Council President David Yates for two and a half hours in court over the latters’ involvement in a civil case against the Louisville police department for alleged sexual abuse in its Youth Explorer program.
O’Connell has charged that Yates, who is representing a former Scout who alleges he was sexually assaulted by two former officers, has a conflict of interest. The two exchanged bitter words during a hearing on the county attorney’s motion to disqualify Yates, D-25th, from the case.
“Not to protect the abuse of children or a cover-up,” Yates replied.
Three years ago, during O’Connell’s last re-election campaign, the county attorney wrote a letter to the council that called on Councilman David James, D-6th, to recuse himself from voting because he was holding two sworn offices as a council member and as a University of Louisville police officer.
James, who eventually resigned from the campus police department, said at the time that O’Connell’s legal opinion was retribution for him refusing to donate to the county attorney’s re-election campaign and supporting his opponent in the 2014 primary contest.
O’Connell has served as county attorney — which prosecutes misdemeanor cases and acts as the city’s legal representative — since first being appointed to the position in 2008. He has a legal career that spans four decades, including a stint as a Jefferson District Court judge from 1980 to 1987 and on the circuit bench from 1987 to 1990.
According to his official website, he has been at the forefront of prosecutions in the areas of drunk driving and domestic violence.
Ackerson, who is an attorney, has a law practice that covers personal injury, civil rights, whistleblower law and employment and business maters. He was first elected to the council in 2008, where he has been an outspoken representative particularly in favor of increased spending on infrastructure needs, affordable housing and public safety.
Reporter Phillip M. Bailey can be reached at 502-582-4475 or firstname.lastname@example.org.