Why Franklin aldermen didn't act to censure mayoral candidate Gabrielle Hanson

Franklin Alderman Beverly Burger was visibly holding back tears Tuesday as she explained why she wouldn't be taking any action against embattled Alderman Gabrielle Hanson.

"My heart is broken right now," Burger said, but she noted that, "The voters should speak."

The Franklin Board of Mayor and Aldermen had been considering a censure for Hanson, who is currently running for mayor. Censure is the act of expressing severe disapproval in a formal statement. The board didn't take any action against Hanson during its Tuesday meeting.

Burger said she considered Hanson a friend, but Hanson's comments about an unfounded motive in the Nashville Covenant School shooting has left her feeling ashamed and embarrassed for Franklin.

And it's not the only issue.

Hanson came under fire in June for an email she sent to Nashville International Airport criticizing their donation to a Juneteenth celebration in Franklin.

Multiple residents sent ethics complaints to the city in response to Hanson’s letter to Nashville Airport CEO Doug Kreulen. In her emailed letter, Hanson criticized the airport’s sponsorship of a Juneteenth event organized by the Franklin Justice and Equity Coalition. She said the organization believes in "radical social justice platforms" and was competing with another longstanding Juneteenth celebration organized by the African American Heritage Society of Williamson County.

Hanson said in the letter that she was an elected official requesting the airport authority withdraw its donation to the coalition and instead write a check to the African American Heritage Society. The letter was sent from Hanson’s city alderman email address, and she signed her name with an alderman title.

Earlier this month, Hanson admitted to being arrested on a charge of promoting prostitution in Dallas in the mid-1990s in a video she posted on Instagram.

The Franklin mayoral election is on Oct. 24. Hanson is challenging incumbent Franklin Mayor Ken Moore.

Reach reporter Craig Shoup by email at cshoup@gannett.com and on X @Craig_Shoup. To support his work, sign up for a digital subscription to www.tennessean.com.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Franklin Board takes no action on Gabrielle Hanson censure. Here's why