LMPD officer sued over alleged cover-up of sex abuse is retiring - WDRB 41 Louisville News

LMPD officer sued over alleged cover-up of sex abuse is retiring

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville Metro Police officer sued over alleged cover-up of sex abuse in the department's youth Explorer program is retiring from the department, his attorney said Friday morning.

Maj. Curtis Flaherty was among those affected in Chief Steve Conrad's shakeup of the department Thursday that replaced him and two other majors.

Major Andrea Brown from the 1st Division is being moved to his position. 

Attorney Lee Sitlinger, who represents Flaherty in the sex abuse civil lawsuit, said Flaherty was already considering retiring and is leaving now because of fears of possible changes to the state's pension system.

Sitlinger said there is "no indication" Flaherty's retirement is related to the Explorer scandal. 

Flaherty told officers in his division on Thursday that he is retiring, according to sources. 

Dwight Mitchell, a spokesman for the department, said Flaherty is no longer in his current position but did not know if he was retiring. 

"At this time, I don't know what his status is," Mitchell said. 

Flaherty ran the police department's Explorer program that mentored young people interested in careers in law enforcement before moving to LMPD's investigative unit. 

Two officers in the program at the time, Kenneth Betts and Brandon Wood, have been indicted for sexually abusing teens and Flaherty is accused in a lawsuit of covering it up.

Flaherty has not been charged with any crime. 

A motion on his behalf in the civil suit lists 14 potential defenses, including that the "injuries and ensuing damages" to the alleged victim, identified only as "N.C." in court documents, "may have been caused or contributed by his or her own actions."

Flaherty argues he was not responsible for any "wrongful conduct" in the case.

He has asked Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman to dismiss him from the complaint and is seeking to recover any costs associated with the litigation.

It alleges that Wood and Betts molested, abused and raped the teen and recorded the sexual acts.

In addition, police officials are accused of concealing evidence of the conduct by intimidation, destruction of evidence, deletion of information and refusal to comply with the Kentucky Open Records Act, as well as conspiracy to cover up the wrongdoing, according to the suit. 

Police are also accused of falsifying reports, deleting phone records and audio files and destroying other records.

Allegations against Betts date from as early as 2013, when a 16-year-old girl claimed the officer texted her shirtless pictures of himself and asked to meet her and "make out."

During that internal police investigation, a male teen told police that Betts offered him money for sex and promised to take care of a traffic citation in exchange for sexual favors.

The internal investigation by the department’s professional standards unit found that Betts violated police procedures but committed no criminal acts involving the girl.

There was no investigation into the male teenager’s allegations, and Betts avoided any discipline by leaving the department in April 2014.

Police Chief Steve Conrad closed that case "by exception" when Betts resigned, saying "no further action need be taken."

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has temporarily suspended the Explorer program.

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