Hillview police officer files whistleblower suit against city, i - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Hillview police officer files whistleblower suit against city, indicted chief

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Hillview Police officer has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the city, indicted police chief Glenn Caple and a supervisor, claiming he has been punished for reporting alleged wrongdoing by the chief to investigators.

In a lawsuit filed on behalf of Officer James Barrow this week in Bullitt Circuit Court, Barrow claims he told the Bullitt County sheriff's office and FBI about alleged crimes by Caple in "causing evidence" of a meth lab to be moved from Mayor James Eadens' home to an adjacent property.

In October, Caple was indicted by a federal grand jury and charged with lying about moving a mobile meth lab from the property.

Eadens' son, Jason Eadens, was arrested for manufacturing meth and drug possession in a separate incident in October 2011. 

At the time, Eadens said of his son, "He got into this on his own. He needs to get out of it on his own." James Eadens was never charged.

Caple, who remains on duty, is scheduled to go to trial in March.

In the lawsuit, Barrow claims that after he reported the incident and worked with investigators, he was reprimanded for speeding in the department's parking lot in May 2013. And Barrow said in January of this year, he was issued a reprimand and suspension for alleged violations of policy in connection with a stop and arrest of a person.

Also, according to the suit, the city rejected Barrow's request for court pay for time spent in meetings with the FBI and U.S. Attorney's office in dealing with the Caple case.

The suit claims Caple and Major Kenneth Straughn "conspired" to punish Barrow for working with investigators.

Barrow is expected to testify against Caple at the criminal trial, according to the lawsuit.

Attorney David Leightty, who is representing Barrow, said he may end up going to court to ask a judge for an injunction if his client's job is threatened.

Attorney Thomas Clay, who is representing Caple in his criminal case, said "the chief had nothing to do" with Barrow's punishment, which included a two-day suspension.

"He was totally detached from the entire proceeding," Clay said Wednesday.

Clay has said the indictment stemmed from an allegation made by a disgruntled police officer and Caple never told officers to move the meth lab from the yard.

Hillview City Attorney Mark Edison declined to comment on the pending litigation or Barrow's internal disciplinary matters, saying the officer has asked for a civil service hearing on Monday.

Claims made in filing a lawsuit present only one side of the story.

The lawsuit is seeking unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

Correction: This story previously conflated meth lab incidents, identifying the meth lab Caple was accused of moving as the same for which Mayor Eaden's son was charged. This story has been updated to reflect the separate incidents.

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