U of L professor's appointment to police accountability board no - WDRB 41 Louisville News

U of L professor's appointment to police accountability board now up to Metro Council

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A Louisville Metro Council committee took the next steps Monday to appoint an outspoken University of Louisville professor to a police accountability board on Monday.

In April, Mayor Greg Fischer’s office recommended University of Louisville professor Dr. Ricky Jones for an appointment on the Citizens Commission on Police Accountability.

Two weeks ago, Louisville Metro Council’s Committee on contracts and appointments took up the issue. Generally, mayors' recommendations for commissions are approved without any fanfare. This case was different.

At that meeting, local Fraternal Order of Police Lodge president Dave Mutchler showed up and expressed his concerns that he and his members did not think Jones could be an impartial member of the commission.

“Our initial concern for members was he able to, in an unbiased fashion, review these police cases," Mutchler said. "And we asked the committee to evaluate that concern in their decision."

The Police Accountability commission typically oversees investigations done by LMPD’s public integrity unit but does not have any powers as far as criminal or disciplinary actions are concerned.

Mutchler said he was given very little notice that the mayor’s office was planning to recommend Jones to the commission. Jones was not present.

“I tried to reach out to the mayor’s office to express those concerns in an unpublic manner but was unable to get that to happen,” Mutchler said.

Ultimately, the Metro Council committee tabled the issue until a meeting Monday. Jones attended the meeting Monday and was given the chance to speak to committee members before a decision was made.

“Let me be clear, I am not anti-police. Good police, anyway,” Jones told committee members. “I am anti-bad police.”

With three members not present, the committee voted to move the appointment forward to full Metro Council next week.

“We fully expected that that’s what would probably happen at this meeting,” Mutchler said following the meeting. “No secret, I think that’s what everybody expected.”

Jones told WDRB News that he was “indifferent” about the appointment but said he planned to defend himself against Mutchler’s claim that he couldn’t be impartial anyway.

“People in this community know what I stand for,” Jones said. “People of this community who know Dave Mutchler know what he stands for.”

“I don't know Ricky Jones personally,” Mutchler said. “I don't have anything to say about him personally or what his stances are. I don't think he knows me well enough to do that either.”

Councilwoman Julie Denton, a Republican, also questioned the appointment. She was not present at the meeting Monday but did release a statement:

“I had hoped that representatives from the Council, Dr. Jones and the Fraternal Order of Police could have met prior to this committee meeting but unfortunately that did not occur. I continue to express my concerns over the impartiality of Dr. Jones to serve on a commission that renders judgment.”

Metro Council meets on May 11 for a final vote on the issue.

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