Mayor Fischer testifies under oath LMPD hasn't briefed him on sex abuse probe
While under oath during a deposition on Monday, Mayor Greg Fischer said he had not been briefed on the status of LMPD’s Explorer Program sex abuse investigation.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- While under oath during a deposition on Monday, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said he had not been briefed on the status of LMPD’s investigation into allegation of sex abuse in a police mentoring program for young people.
The deposition was completed as part of a whistleblower lawsuit filed by LMPD Lt. Jimmy Harper, who claims he was demoted as retaliation for expressing concerns about the department’s management.
During the deposition, Fischer was questioned by Harper’s attorney, Thomas Clay, about whether he was aware of Harper providing information regarding the Explorer program investigation to Metro Councilman David James.
From that point, Clay questioned Fischer for over ten minutes regarding the sex abuse and cover up allegations. Video of the deposition was provided to WDRB News by Clay.
An attorney for Fischer initially objected to him answering any questions regarding the Explorer Program as “that has not been raised as an allegation in the (Harper) complaint and was not disclosed in discovery.” After an apparent off the record conversation between the attorneys, Fischer then answered a number of questions regarding the investigation.
Clay: "What were the allegations in that investigation?"
Fischer: "Some type of behavioral misconduct."
Clay: "Is that all that you know? Some type of behavioral misconduct?"
Clay: "Did it involve sexual activity?"
Fischer: "Well, that's behavioral misconduct."
In March, a lawsuit was filed that accused LMPD officials of covering up the rape of a teenage boy who was a member of the Explorer Program.
In July of 2013, an internal investigation was launched concerning allegations that Officer Kenneth Betts sent a 16-year-old girl shirtless pictures of himself and asked her to "make out."
During the course of that investigation, a male teenager told police investigators that Betts offered him money for sex.
There was never an investigation into what the male teen said, and LMPD Chief Steve Conrad closed the case “by exception” because Betts resigned. Conrad wrote in a memo that “no further action was needed.”
Clay: "What's your understanding of what happened to the investigation when his employment was terminated?"
Fischer: "I only know what I've read, so I don't know if they were contemporaneous with his departure and the investigation coming to an end. I don't know."
Clay: "What was your understanding of the disposition of the investigation?"
Fischer: "I understand the investigation was completed."
Clay: "And how was it completed?"
Fischer: "It came to an end."
Clay: "How did it come to an end? Were the allegations substantiated? Unsubstantiated? Unfounded?"
Fischer: "Well as I understand it, there was no action taken on him when it was over."
Clay also questioned Fischer on whether or not he was aware in Conrad has been “implicated” in the Explorer Program investigation.
“He's a member of the police department, so anybody that’s involved with this in any way, and a way that violates any kind of laws, we're going to let the chips fall where they may," Fischer said. "And if that includes Chief Conrad, that includes Chief Conrad."
Fischer said Monday that he knows very little about the investigation into the program that has been underway since last October. He said he has not been briefed by LMPD on its progress other than to say he was aware it was “ongoing.”
In March, Fischer appointed former U.S. Attorney Kerry Harvey as a special investigator to look into the claims made in the lawsuit.
Clay: "Have you been briefed by Mr. Harvey about his status of his investigation?"
Fischer: "I had a meeting with him some time in the past month about when it's coming to a conclusion, and he indicated there will be a report."
Clay: "Did he indicate when it will come to a conclusion?"
Fischer: "No. Well not in the not-too-distance future, but it’s not going to be going on forever."
Clay: "Did he give you any kind of indication about any preliminary findings?"
Fischer: "Gosh, I really don’t recall. There was nothing that he said to me that raised any red flags."
Betts was implicated along with former officer Brandon Wood. Both former officers were indicted on sex abuse charges in March.
- Demoted LMPD Lt. Jimmy Harper files whistleblower lawsuit against city
- LMPD officer involved in Explorer Program sex abuse case also involved in 2013 investigation
- Attorney claims members of LMPD covered up rape of teen boy
- Mayor Fischer temporarily suspends LMPD Youth Explorer program over sex abuse allegations
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