Feds hope billboards will help to curb corruption in Kentucky
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- From top elected officials to local police, no one is off-limits, according to the FBI and the U.S. Attorney.
Federal agencies say they are working to end public corruption in the state, and you can help.
The federal agencies say public corruption has been an ongoing problem in the state of Kentucky. That's why they're hoping a new initiative will get the public involved and lead to changes.
Metro Councilman David James says he takes a lot of pride in being open and honest with the people who elected him to office.
"I've been elected three times to this particular office," James said. "You know, if your government is corrupt, then you really don't have a foundation, and I think it is important for people to understand that."
That's why he welcomes the new "End Corruption Now" initiative by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney.
"The End Corruption Now campaign seeks to unite the commonwealth in the fight against corruption at every level, from the proverbial dog catcher, to the highest state and federal officials," said Howard Marshall, FBI Special Agent in Charge.
Friday morning, federal officials launched the campaign.
"There is no acceptable level of corruption," Marshall said. "None."
Federal officials say widespread public corruption in Kentucky dates back to the Boptrot investigations nearly 30 years ago.
"Fifteen members of the Kentucky General Assembly were arrested and convicted," Marshall said. "Unfortunately, the impact of that investigation faded and we have reverted to business as usual."
In fact, a recent Harvard study concluded that Kentucky is one of the most corrupt states in the country.
"Kentucky clearly has a problem, and it is recognized by not just the people conducting the study, but the three people who are standing here today," Marshall said.
The feds want your help changing that and have put up billboards asking for tips -- especially from people who may be afraid to come forward.
"It is our hope that this will give them that avenue -- that those folks can actually come out of the shadows and actually give us the information they know," Marshall said.
Federal officials say anyone who calls in a tip can remain anonymous.
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