Councilwoman won't face charges for jobs program - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Councilwoman won't face charges for jobs program

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By Bennett Haeberle WDRB-TV Fox 41 News     bhaeberle@fox41.com

LOUISVILLE, KY (WDRB)  -- A Metro Councilwoman will not face criminal charges but acted "unethically" and "unprofessionally" in the operation of a jobs program she oversaw, according to an internal police document obtained by Fox 41 News.

Fox 41 News has also uncovered details that Green's own children benefited from the program that used city grant money.

The internal document, produced by LMPD's public integrity unit, highlights the financial problems and struggles the teen jobs program has endured since it began three years ago.

Metro Police began investigating Dr. Judy's Green's "Green Clean Team" this summer after a city auditor noted that $35,000 in city grant money was unaccounted for during the 2009 session.

According to an internal police report obtained by Fox 41 News, the police were able to account for all but $700 of the money through hand-written receipts and checks.

The city froze the program's assets this summer – forcing teens to wait weeks to be paid.

City officials, including a police investigator and the city's internal auditor, claim that Dr. Judy Green ran the organization – something she denies.

"I did not run the Green Clean team... It was run by Life Institute," she said during an interview Tuesday.

Green, of Metro Council District 1, helped create the Green Clean Team as part of an effort to help teens in west Louisville earn money and avoid illegal activity. She denies that she ran the operation.

Dr. Eddie Woods, who heads up the non-profit Life Institute, points the finger back at Green.

"It's pretty accurate," Woods said of the internal police report. "Dr. Green was pretty much in charge of the meetings, the interviews ... We had very little input if any."

Woods says there were too many kids in the 2009 program and not enough grant money. The program was initially designed for 60 teens over a six-week period.

Woods said he and his supervisors ended up not being paid. There were few receipts, timesheets and applications, he said.

The report says that while no evidence could support filing charges, the program "has the appearance that criminal activity could have been taking place" in regards to misuse of the grant money.

Green said Tuesday that she "encouraged" children to apply for the program, including five of her own.

Three adopted children in her home and two foster children participated in the program. Green could not say how much they earned.

"They earned whatever the other children earned," she said.

Councilwoman Green denies that she ran the Green Clean Team even though her husband was involved with it and her children participated in the program that used city money.

When asked if she thought people might construe that city tax dollars were used to benefit her own family, she said:  "Some people might mis-construe that but I don't believe that that's the case... The metro ethics ordinance states you can have children in a program as long as you don't supervise the program... I did not run the program."

Green said improvements could be made and that she intends to help fund the jobs program again next summer because she says the teens, ages 12 to 20, desperately needed the money.

Investigators suggest that –in the future – any grant money be given directly to the organization in an electronic account that can be tracked.

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