LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- LMPD Chief Steve Conrad decided in November 2016 to suspend the department's Explorer Program but decided against it at the request of Maj. Curtis Flaherty, who is accused of covering up the alleged sexual assault of several teenagers in the program.

In documents obtained by WDRB through an open records request, Conrad wrote a letter to Flaherty on Nov. 18, 2016, saying he "decided to suspend the program's operations," immediately. 

"I believe this decision is in the best interest of both our department and the community we serve," Conrad wrote.

Three days later on Nov. 21, Flaherty wrote back asking that the Explorer Program be placed on "a restricted status as an alternative to a suspension of operations." Flaherty argued that the suspension penalized those teenagers in the program and their parents who had invested time into it. 

Flaherty went on to propose that the Explorer Program meet just twice a month and have a monitor assigned by LMPD to attend each meeting.

"It is unfortunate that in the past three years there have been two explorer advisors accused of inappropriate interaction with explorers," Flaherty wrote. "This is inexcusable ... I realize there will be many difficult days ahead, but I am confidant (sic) the Explorer Program can emerge from this stronger than before if we meet this challenge head on."

The following week on Nov. 29, Conrad replied to Flaherty, "granting your request to place the Explorer Program on a 'restricted status' rather than the suspension of operations that I ordered..."

Less than four months later, Attorney David Yates filed a lawsuit against the city, LMPD and three of its officers, claiming a teenage boy was sexually assaulted by two officers over several years in the department's Youth Explorer Program. Since then, three LMPD officers, Kenneth Betts, Brandon Wood, Brad Schuhmann and have been named in subsequent lawsuits, accused of sexually assaulting teenage members of the Explorer Program.

Read the letters between Conrad and Flaherty below: 

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