Metro Council President David Yates asks judge to throw out subp - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Metro Council President David Yates asks judge to throw out subpoena in LMPD sex abuse lawsuit

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David Yates David Yates

LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) – Attorney David Yates has asked a judge to throw out a subpoena compelling him to testify in a hearing Friday on whether he should be disqualified from representing an alleged victim in the Louisville Metro Police Explorer program sex abuse lawsuit.

Metro Government and the LMPD subpoenaed Yates earlier this week requiring him to testify on whether his role as council president is a conflict that prohibits him from suing the city.

Yates, and co-counsel Tad Thomas, called the subpoena “improper” and “contrary to established law,” according to their motion, filed in Jefferson Circuit Court late Thursday.

In the motion asking Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Judith McDonald Burkman to “quash” the subpoena, Yates argues state law protects him from having to testify in a case he is handling, except under extraordinary circumstance.

Under state law, an attorney can only be compelled to testify if there is no other way to get relevant information that is crucial to the case.

County Attorney Mike O'Conell claims Yates reached out to the alleged victim through Facebook, offering his legal services and making reference to his “unique position” and role on the council, according to court records.

As a member of Metro Council, a settlement in the case would be a conflict for Yates because he votes on the city budget, which funds lawsuit settlements, O’Connell has argued.

In a previous interview, Yates said he was "absolutely in no way inferring" to his role on the Metro Council in the Facebook message. By "unique position," Yates said he was referring to his time as a prosecutor with the Kentucky Attorney's General's office, helping to write sex abuse legislation and prosecuting defendants in abuse cases.

In his motion Thursday, Yates said the city is arguing he has a conflict because of his access to "confidential information" given his role as a council member. But Yates and Thomas will call another member of the council to testify “regarding the type of information that councilmembers have access to in their position” and insight into the relationship between the council and police.

“Thus, it is unnecessary for Mr. Yates to testify and his testimony in not crucial to the Defendants case,” according to the motion. The motion does not identify which member of the council Yates is referring to.

The victim in the initial lawsuit, identified only as "N.C." claims former Officers Kenneth Betts and Brandon Wood sexually abused him while he was a teen in the department's youth Explorer program between 2011 and 2013.

Also on Thursday, Yates filed a second lawsuit on behalf of another alleged victim, accusing Betts of raping the former Explorer.

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 initial suit.

Wood was indicted on seven counts of sexual abuse with one alleged victim, a juvenile, stemming from incidents in 2011 and 2012.

Betts was charged with two counts of sodomy involving two different alleged victims. The indictment alleges Betts engaged in "deviate sexual intercourse" with one of the victims through the use of "forcible compulsion" over a five-month period in 2007.

And Betts is accused of committing sodomy on July 26, 2013 with a minor "he came into contact with as a result" of his position as a police officer.

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