Certified City of Ethics

About Paducah's Designation

The Kentucky League of Cities (KLC) designated Paducah as a Certified City of Ethics on December 13, 2023. Paducah joins more than three dozen other Kentucky cities in the completion of this voluntary program that recognizes cities and city officials that have adopted principles and procedures that offer guidance on ethical issues and a mechanism to resolve complaints at the local level. Paducah's designation is through December 13, 2027. The City will need to begin recertification procedures in 2027.

Read Paducah's Ethics Ordinance

To achieve the Certified City of Ethics distinction as developed by KLC, Paducah completed the following elements:

  • In June 2023, Paducah adopted a resolution establishing the six ethics principles to govern the conduct of city officials and employees. The six principles are as follows:
    • Serve the public interest, not our own;
    • Fulfill the duties and responsibilities of holding public office;
    • Be ethical and professional;
    • Be fiscally responsible with the city resources;
    • Communicate effectively and respectively; and
    • Create an environment of honesty, openness, and integrity.
  • In October 2023, the City authorized an agreement with KLC which included reviewing and updating Paducah’s ethics ordinance to ensure that it complies with the criteria set out in KRS 65.003.
  • In December 2023, in consultation with KLC and the City’s attorney, the Board approved amendments to Chapter 2 of Paducah’s Code of Ordinances regarding the Code of Ethics.
  • On December 13, 2023, KLC led the Paducah Board of Commissioners, the Board of Ethics, and department directors through training specifically related to elements in Paducah’s Code of Ethics. This was the final component necessary to achieve certification.

To maintain the certification, the city must go through this process every four years.

Paducah's Board of Ethics

As outlined beginning in Chapter 2, section 821 of Paducah's Code of Ordinances, the Board of Ethics consists of three members. This board must be at least once annually with the regular meeting date on the first Monday of May. All other meetings shall be held as necessary. 

Current members and their terms are listed below:

Lee Emmons (term expires February 10, 2027)
Marcus Turnley (term expires February 10, 2026)
Gerald Watkins (term expires February 10, 2025)

Learn More about the Certified City of Ethics Program

The Certified City of Ethics program encourages cities to adopt and adhere to a set of key ethical principles and a comprehensive model ethics ordinance. The ordinance guides conduct of city officials and their employees in areas such as financial disclosures, conflicts of interests and outside employment. The ordinance also contains strong penalty provisions – including public reprimands, fines and removal - for city officials and employees who violate the ordinance. 

Based in Lexington, KLC is a voluntary, nonprofit membership association that provides legislative advocacy, legal services, consulting services, and training to more than 360-member cities. KLC also provides insurance and financial services to municipal agencies throughout Kentucky.

Ethics Training - December 13, 2023

Pictured (left to right): Pam Spencer, Communications Manager | Greg Guebert, Assistant City Engineer | Gerald Watkins, Board of Ethics Commissioner | Eric Stuber, Technology Director | Steve Kyle, Fire Chief | Raynarldo Henderson, City Commissioner | Stefanie Wilcox, Human Resources Director | David Guess, City Commissioner | Marcus Turnley, Board of Ethics Commissioner | George Bray, Mayor | Nic Hutchison Planning Director | Chris Johnson – KLC Personnel Services Managing Attorney | Buz Smith, City Commissioner | Chris Yarber, Public Works Director (Note: Yarber is hard to see since he is directly behind Commissioner Smith.) | Sandra Wilson, City Commissioner | Brian Laird, Police Chief | Daron Jordan, City Manager | Amie Clark, Parks & Recreation Director | Lindsay Parish, City Clerk | Claudia Meeks, Assistant City Clerk | Jonathan Perkins, Finance Director

Ethics Training December 2023