JCPS hires O'Dell Henderson to oversee labor management amid LMPD investigation
JCPS has hired O'Dell Henderson to be the district's new director of labor management and employee relations despite an open investigation involving Henderson and the director of Louisville Metro Animal Services.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- JCPS has hired O'Dell Henderson to be the district's new director of labor management and employee relations amid an open investigation involving him and the director of Louisville Metro Animal Services.
Henderson, who has been Louisville Metro Government's lead liaison to the city's labor unions since 2012, is part of a Louisville Metro Police Department Public Integrity Unit investigation following the euthanasia of his dog at his home by LMAS director Jessica Jo Montgomery.
Dwight Mitchell, a LMPD spokesman, told WDRB on Thursday that the PIU investigation has been completed and sent to the Jefferson County Attorney's office for review.
"We are awaiting their decision as to whether any charges will arise," Mitchell said.
Henderson, 56, resigned from his job with Louisville Metro to take the job with JCPS, but is still working for the city while the details are worked out, according to Chris Poynter, a spokesman for Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.
As the director of labor relations for the city, Henderson made $94,715. As the new director of labor management and employee relations with JCPS, Henderson will make $116,106.58 annually. He is expected to start his new role on Jan. 4, 2016.
When reached by telephone at his office on Thursday, Henderson referred all calls to Poynter. He said "if and when" he were to become the district's new director of labor management and employee relations, he would be "happy to talk" about his new job.
Bonnie Hackbarth, a spokeswoman for JCPS, told WDRB on Wednesday evening that Henderson had been "offered and accepted" the job with the district, but that his start date has not yet been determined.
She said district officials checked with the mayor's office and it was her understanding that Henderson was not part of an investigation.
Hackbarth said she wasn't sure of Henderson's starting salary, but according to public records, Rob Tanner, the district's previous director of labor management and employee relations, made $116,263.
Tanner was named director of property management and maintenance with JCPS in November.
According to the JCPS job description, the director of labor management and employee relations provides "leadership, expertise and general oversight to the Labor Management and Employee Relations programs and activities including contract administration and negotiations, grievance adjudication, employee development and other employee and labor relations services."
Henderson began his career in city government in 2003 with public works and assets department. Prior to being named the city's lead liaison to labor relations, he worked for several years as a part-time labor negotiator on city-employee union contracts
The investigation into Montgomery and Henderson was first reported by Louisville Magazine on Dec. 2.
Poynter confirmed to WDRB that he told the magazine that the allegations that Montgomery illegally performed a euthanasia and illegally transported a federally controlled substance used for the procedure" were brought to the mayor’s attention in mid-September.
He told the magazine the allegations “merited a follow up by [the Louisville Metro Police Department’s] Public Integrity Unit,” which Poynter said was ordered by the mayor around that time.
Jessie Halladay, a spokeswoman for Jefferson County Attorney Mike O'Connell, confirmed that his office had received the investigative file and are reviewing it to determine whether any charges will be filed. She did not know a timeline of when a decision will be made.
Reporter Antoinette Konz covers K-12 education for WDRB News. She can be reached at 502-585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.
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