Metro Council member standing by her call for police chief's res - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Metro Council member standing by her call for police chief's resignation, says mayor also to blame for rising crime

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Metro Councilwoman Angela Leet is standing by her call for the police chief to resign, but now says the mayor should share the blame for the city's rising murder rate.  

Leet, a Republican from District 7, says Louisville needs new leadership at the very top.

Leet says says she is gotten “a lot of positive support” since she called, Thursday, for LMPD Chief Steve Conrad to step down.

Leet is also firing back at Mayor Greg Fischer’s statement that it's unfair to blame the city's rising homicide rate on one man.

"Well, the man I blame is the mayor," Leet told WDRB News. "You're right, it is not just Chief Conrad. I think Chief Conrad is a good and decent man. I just think we need to hit a reset button. We need some new leadership."

When approached outside an event he was attending, the mayor declined an interview, referring to the written statement he released on Thursday.

But other members of Metro Council are speaking up. Julie Denton says she shares Leet's frustration.

“I think there's a lot of frustration, and people are losing confidence,” said Denton (R-Dist. 19.)

But Denton stopped short of saying Conrad should quit.

"This is the mayor's decision, but I don't know why the chief would want to stay," she said.

Others on the council agree Conrad's future is Mayor Fischer's call, and appear to be standing by the chief, for now.

“I think the real question that we should wrestle with before asking for resignation, is asking what we are looking for in a police chief. And could anyone come forward and describe that? And what would that individual be doing differently than Chief Conrad is doing right now?” said Barbara Sexton Smith (D-Dist. 4.)

Conrad is to report next month on the effectiveness of the LMPD reorganization plan he launched last year.

“He said at that time that the measure of success would be if homicides are up or if homicides were down, and so, we will listen to what the chief has to say,” said David James (D-Dist. 6) who chairs the council’s Public Safety Committee.

But Leet says she has heard enough.

“We have attempted to work together, and we still can't get transparent answers,” she said.

WDRB also reached out to Metro Council President David Yates. He declined to comment on the controversy.

UPDATE: Other Metro Council members have joined Leet's call for Conrad's resignation.

In a Twitter post, District 16's Scott Reed said, "I agree with Councilwoman Leet that a change needs to be made. Chief Conrad has served with distinction, but it's time for a new direction."

Stephen Haag, director of the Metro Council's Republican caucus tells WDRB that both Denton and District 22 Councilman Robin Engel also support Leet's call for Conrad's resignation. 

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