Metro Council considers spending $22,000 on jail audit - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Metro Council considers spending $22,000 on jail audit

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The Louisville Metro Council plans to consider spending up to $22,000 on an audit of Metro Corrections.

The spending request was made in a resolution sponsored by councilwoman Marianne Butler and is on Thursday’s full Metro Council agenda.

"Metro Council is concerned that the scope of the current audit is not independent enough to fully evaluate the inmate population conditions and/or complications at Corrections," according to the resolution.

In February, the city auditor began a review of Metro Correction’s “inmate release activity” to determine if people are being correctly released from the jail.

At the time, Louisville's chief audit executive, May Porter, sent a letter to jail Director Mark Bolton saying the Office of Internal Audit wants to look at inmates released between Jan. 1, 2016 and this month to see if there has been “erroneous release activity” and what financial impact that may have had on the city.

The audit was requested by Metro Council member David James, D-6th District.

The new resolution seeks to provide funding for the auditor for “academic resources, expertise, and oversight to fully manage the complex issues presented in the audit.”

Butler said the council wants the auditor to do a "random" sampling and called it a very "complex issue."

"So if they need to get some outside expert consultant, (the money is) there," she said.

Metro Corrections has been under constant scrutiny in recent months for alleged repeated failures to properly release inmates.

Bolton was called before the Metro Council's Public Safety Committee in February and asked about why inmate David Reyes stayed in the jail five months after serving out his sentence.

"Obviously we kept him way too long," Bolton said at that meeting, adding that he has launched an "aggressive investigation" to find out what happened. "But is it systemic? Absolutely not."

Also attorneys for five former inmates have filed a federal lawsuit against the city and Bolton, claiming hundreds of inmates have been unlawfully imprisoned by being detained after judges ordered them released.

And Bolton and his top staffers are preparing for a contempt hearing ordered by a Jefferson District Court judge who alleges the jail is not following orders on releasing inmates.

On Jan. 27, Judge Stephanie Burke harshly criticized jail officials, telling them there was a "leadership problem" and an attitude from some top officials that they do not need to follow orders.

"I think this is a systemic problem," Burke told Bolton, Durham and Chief of Staff Dwayne Clark, among others. "There is a wide consensus, not just in this court but in others, among the (Bar Association), the court staff, the clerks, the sheriffs, that this is a problem and it's a daily problem. This is something that needs to be a collaborative effort to resolve."

Burke has cited 16 specific cases in which Metro Corrections is accused of not following orders, and she argues that between Jan. 4 and Jan. 20 of this year, the jail has failed to bring "numerous" defendants to their scheduled court dates.

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