Mayor appoints civilians to police disciplinary review board

Mayor Linda Gorton today appointed Allison Connelly and Darlene Barber to the police disciplinary review board, and named Father Jim Sichko as an alternate.

This is the first time civilians have been part of the board. “I made this a priority as we worked out a collective bargaining contract with our police. Now the police and administration are taking a big step forward to improve police accountability and transparency,” Gorton said. The appointments must be confirmed by the Urban County Council.

Gorton said she chose appointees who are fair-minded, ethical and objective. She received 74 applications for the appointments. 

Connelly is an attorney who has led the city’s Ethics Commission and served on the Lexington-Fayette Human Rights Commission. “I believe I have a responsibility to serve the community where I live and work and the community that I love,” Connelly wrote in her application to serve on the commission. “Serving on this commission would make use of my legal knowledge and skills in an area in which I am deeply interested.”

Barber is an employee of the state Personnel Cabinet who has served as co-chair of the Minority Business Expo and as recording secretary of Delta Sigma Theta Inc. Lexington Alumnae Chapter.

She told Gorton, “I am passionate about this community I grew up in, raised my children in, and am now watching my grandchildren grow up in. I want better for the citizens of Lexington. I want to help provide change and make this a better place to work, play and live. We need peace in this place.”

Father Jim Sichko is a papal missionary of mercy, a rarified group of 700 priests from around the world, including several from the United States, who were appointed directly by Pope Francis to “go forth and do good deeds.”

Father Sichko told Gorton, “As a Papal Missionary; as a priest; as a human being/citizen, I value the work of our First Responders. I also value the belief that all people, regardless of position, power or authority, must act justly and not abuse the gift given to them.”

The Review Board considers substantiated complaints made against officers: cases where the Police Chief has declined to propose sanction(s); or cases where an officer has rejected the Chief's recommended discipline charge(s) and proposed sanction(s). The board’s recommendations are forwarded to the Chief for further action.