Head of Metro Louisville's Housing Department resigns - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Head of Metro Louisville's Housing Department resigns

The head of Metro Louisville's Housing Department resigns, after being accused of misusing taxpayer money. Some Metro government officials already had been looking closely at Kimberly Bunton for other financial issues within the Housing Department and now, they discover yet another problem.

Kimberly Bunton admits she gave close to $2000 of taxpayer money to her mother for mortgage payments on her West Louisville home. Bunton insists, her mother qualified for the assistance, but she did not have the paperwork to show it.

Bunton writes in her resignation letter to the mayor, "I did not instruct or in any way suggest that rules should be broken or ignored." "I understand that it could be viewed or misconstrued as receipt of special privileges or favors."

Bunton has reimbursed the city for that and also wrote a check for the cost of using city employees to move her bookcase from her office to her home.

"I think the judgments that she made, I was really disappointed with. I have no reason to believe honesty and integrity are not there. She is, I believe, a very honest and a person with great integrity," said Mayor Jerry Abramson.

But some of the Metro Council members Bunton spoke in front of last month say she has not made things better.

Kelly Downard chairs the Council's Government Accountability Committee, which asked Bunton tough questions about why more than 19 million dollars in housing grant money is either lost or unclaimed.

"She was purported to be the person who would solve all the problems in the Housing Department. That's a year and half ago, or a little more than that now. And now we find out that she's maybe part of the problem," said Downard.

Mayor Abramson says he is sending his Internal Audit director into the Housing Department to conduct a thorough review. But Republicans on Metro Council say that's not good enough.

"An outside, independent investigation is mandatory in this case. It's proven that inside, there isn't a lot of control," said Downard.

People we talked to at Bunton's mother's house say she has no comment. And Bunton's former assistant referred us to the mayor's office.

The mayor's general counsel, Tina Heavrin, will serve as the Housing Department's interim director while the mayor's office searches nationwide for Kimberly Bunton's replacement.

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