Judge-executive and magistrates respond to recent library lawsuit

Published 11:30 am Friday, August 25, 2023

Clark County Judge-Executive Les Yates has sued his fellow members of the Clark County Fiscal and the Clark County Public Library’s Board of Trustees.

Yates alleges that the Clark County Fiscal Court violated provisions of KRS 173.4902 when it voted to appoint Carlye Thacker, who was also named as a defendant, on July 12 to fill the seat vacated by Dawn Alvarado, who resigned in February.

The lawsuit also seeks injunctions to prevent the Clark County Public Library Board of Trustees from recognizing her appointment and Thacker from exercising any assigned powers as a trustee.

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Amy D. Cubbage and Marc G. Farris of Tachua Meek filed the lawsuit on Yates’ behalf.

At a special meeting of the Fiscal Court, Clark County Attorney William Elkins was named attorney representing the magistrates.

Since the lawsuit was filed, Thacker has been sworn in as a Clark County Public Library Board of Trustee but abstained from voting.

Shortly before Alvarado’s resignation in December, the Clark County Public Library Board of Trustees – in a decision that has been met with both support and criticism – voted 4-1 in favor of a motion that states that based on its sexually explicit nature, individuals under the age of 18 would be restricted from checking out the graphic novel “Gender Queer” by Maia Kobabe unless a parent or guardian provided written consent.

Magistrates Steve Craycraft, Dan Konstantopoulos and Ernest Pasley voiced dismay about the lawsuit for different reasons.

“I’m very surprised that we are doing this again,” Craycraft said.

“This lawsuit is a continuing attempt by Les Yates to allow sexually explicit material unrestricted in our public library,” said Konstantopoulos.

“Once again, LY is on the attack against the conservatives of Clark County. This time he has hired Andy Beshear’s former general counsel [sic] to try and [sic] overturn a vote by the local court to put child anime pornography before our children in our community’s public library,” Pasley said.

Yates said the lawsuit is about following the letter of the law.

“All I’m trying to do is to make sure that the concerns of the public are addressed, and all I’m asking for is the library board to follow the rules [and] follow the statutes,” Yates said.

Magistrates Robert Blanton and Chris Davis declined to provide comment, and Magistrate Mark Miller did not respond to a request for comment.

The Clark County Public Library Board of Trustees members also did not respond to a request to comment.