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Paducah City Commission awaits appeal of commissioner removed for racially charged text message

Paducah City Hall
Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau
Paducah City Hall

A western Kentucky city commission that recently voted to remove one of its members is waiting for the former commissioner’s appeal to be heard in court before filling the vacancy.

The Paducah City Commission took no action Tuesday night regarding the appointment of a commissioner to fill the vacant slot left by David Guess after he was ousted from the post last week. An attorney for Guess, a fourth term commissioner, filed for an appeal this week.

The commission unanimously voted to remove Guess after charging him with misconduct over a racially charged text exchange with a civic employee in reference to signs for Black city commission candidate Dujuan Thomas being taken down on Election Day.

The text exchange – originally brought before the commission in December – showed Guess making the statements “You got dujan [sic] under control” and “Whitey keeping a black man down.”

The hearing is set for Feb. 1 in McCracken Circuit Court. The Paducah City Commission will then decide how it will move forward to fill the post.

His vacant seat is statutorily required to be filled by a majority vote of the remaining commissioners in the next 30 days. If the commission fails to do so, the responsibility shifts to the governor’s office.

In other commission happenings, Paducah City Manager Daron Jordan gave an update on developments related to the planned outdoor sports complex it’s developing alongside the McCracken County Fiscal Court. The facility’s Project Working Group is seeking to finalize the design in the coming weeks.

Jordan also announced that the Paducah Industrial Development Authority is planning to submit a RAISE grant application that could be used to fund a new riverport at its Triple Rail Site.

The entire Paducah City Commission meeting can be watched below:

A native of western Kentucky, Operle earned his bachelor's degree in integrated strategic communications from the University of Kentucky in 2014. Operle spent five years working for Paxton Media/The Paducah Sun as a reporter and editor. In addition to his work in the news industry, Operle is a passionate movie lover and concertgoer.
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