Charles D. Cole

Charles D. Cole

Member | 859.255.8581


Charley is an indispensable member of Sturgill Turner’s government services and municipal law practice group. He provides legal counsel to numerous Kentucky cities, counties, law enforcement agencies and other governmental and quasi-governmental entities. Charley is knowledgeable in the areas of law that affect public entities on a daily basis, including personnel and employment issues, statutory civil rights, planning and zoning, risk management, administrative law, and open records and open meetings laws. The hallmarks of his practice include governmental and official immunity, alcoholic beverage laws, and the Police Officer Bill of Rights.


Because of Charley’s experience defending high-profile matters, clients have come to rely on Charley’s expertise in handling legal crises. From crafting legal strategy to responding to media inquiries, Charley knows how to handle litigation and other legal problems that require a rapid response under the spotlight of public attention.

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Areas of Practice

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Representative Experience


Stephen Derrick Hill v. City of Mt. Washington, 448 S.W.3d 746 (Ky. 2014). Litigation concerning the applicability and scope of Kentucky’s Police Officers’ Bill of Rights.

Commonwealth of Kentucky, Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control v. City of Somerset, Kentucky, No. 2014–SC–000154–MR, 2014 WL 5410325. City brought suit against ABC seeking determination that it usurped its statutorily defined role in process of distributing licenses. ABC petitioned the Supreme Court for writ of prohibition to block trial court from proceeding, which was denied.

County of Harlan v. Appalachian Regional Health Care, Inc., 85 S.W. 3d 607 (Ky. 2002). Hospital providing medical treatment to indigent prisoners petitioned for writ of mandamus after dispute arose between hospital and county jailer regarding payment for medical services.


Jeffrey Pearce v. City of Harrodsburg, et al., 440 S.W.3d 392 (Ky. App. 2014).The Plaintiff Police Officer alleged violations of his Police Officer Bill of Rights and also constructive discharge.

Snowden v. City of Wilmore, 412 S.W.3d 195 (Ky. Ct. App. 2013). Litigation concerning alleged contractual and business relations interference, involving annexation, zoning and proposed development of a horse farm.


Williams v. London Utility Com’n, 375 F.3d 424 (6th Cir. 2004). Breach of contract, constitutional and ADA allegations.

Tucker v. City of Richmond, 388 F.3d 216 (2004 WL-2402488 (6th Cir. 2004). First Amendment retaliation.

Shamaeizadeh v. Cunigan, 338 F.3d 535 (6th Cir. 2003). Unlawful search and seizure.

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Judicial Update, Municipal Attorneys Association of Kentucky (MAAK) Municipal Law Seminar (2019)

Right of Entry/Denial of Entry, Kentucky League of Cities Blighted, Abandoned & Dilapidated (BAD) Property Conference (June 2018)

Judicial Update, Municipal Attorneys Association of Kentucky Municipal Law Seminar (2013-2018)

What Supervisors Need to Know About Personnel Policies, presentation for the City of Danville (April 2017)

Annual presenter of legal updates affecting municipalities for the Municipal Attorneys Association of Kentucky (May 2016-present)

Advanced Legal Issues Affecting Local Governments and Municipalities: An Ultimate Guide, National Business Institute CLE (December 2016)

An Update on the Police Officer Bill of Rights, Kentucky (Larger) Home Rule Cities Meeting (August 2016)

A Current Look at Government Immunity, National Business Institute Local Government Law CLE (2015)

Police Liability and Ethics: Other Current Police Liability Issues, NBI Local Government Law CLE (2014)

42 U.S.C. §1983 Federal Practice, Federal Bench & Bar Conference (2013)

Uniformed Employee Discipline, Kentucky League of Cities Conference (October 2007)

Qualified Official Immunity in Kentucky, CLE presentation at the KBA Conference (2008)

Frequent speaker and CLE lecturer on topics concerning governmental and quasi-governmental entities and their officials.

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Best Lawyers in America®: Municipal Law

Kentucky Super Lawyers®: State, Local & Municipal, Civil Rights, General Litigation

Inclusion in Trial Law, Inc.’s 2008 list of “Kentucky’s Million Dollar Opening Statements” based upon a jury verdict rendered in his client’s favor in Franklin Circuit Court.

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Professional Affiliations

Kentucky Bar Association Local Governmental Law Section: Chair (2009-2010); Chair (2018-2019)

Municipal Attorneys Association of Kentucky (MAAK): First Vice-President

Fayette County Bar Association

Kentucky Bar Association

Federal Bar Association

Fayette County Bar Foundation: Initial Director and Founding Fellow

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Taxpayer Revolt, Enhanced Scrutiny of Special Districts, and House Bill 1, Bench and Bar (March 2014)

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Community Involvement

City of Danville Ethics Board General Counsel

Junior Achievement, Volunteer Instructor

Robert E. Frazier Tri-City Charitable Foundation, Inc., President

Eastern Little League, Volunteer/Assistant Coach


University of Kentucky, B.A. (1990)

University of Louisville, M.B.A. (1995)

University of Kentucky, J.D. (1997)

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Paralegal Support