Olive Hill mayor resigns after drug arrest; new mayor sworn in

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OLIVE HILL, Ky. (WKYT) - It was a special meeting that lasted less than five minutes, but the decisions made will have a big impact on the future of Olive Hill. Shortly after the meeting was called to order on Tuesday night, the six-member city council unanimously voted to accept Mayor Danny Sparks' resignation.

The former mayor was arrested just a week ago for allegedly selling marijuana to an undercover officer near the Olive Hill Elementary school. The scandal shocked many in the small town.

"Pure sadness, it hurt me," described Olive Hill resident, Othelle Lykins.

John Newsom added that he knew Sparks, but had no idea what all the former leader was into.

"With the decisions he's made, resigning was probably the best move that he did for the city," he said.

With the old mayor gone, the town eagerly looked to move forward. The motion was given to nominate Kenny Fankell, a council member who has served for 12 consecutive years. This decision also came with a unanimous vote, and after the meeting was adjourned Fankell was sworn in.

"We're a close-knit family and people (are) ready to move on," said Fankell.

"I think our town has a bright future ahead, Kenny Fankell is a good man," beamed Lykins.

Fankell will take on the final two years of Sparks' term, and he says he has his eye on the future. He said his first goal is to meet with the town's department heads to take a close look at the budget for the coming year.

"I hope the people are patient with us, we're going to work hard to make the best of the situation that we have."

Now Fankell's council seat is open, and he said he'll talk with the council about when they'll fill his seat. He expects it could be as early as the next scheduled meeting.

Sparks is facing a felony drug trafficking charge for being within 1,000 feet of a school.

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