Councilwoman Judy Green is set to appear in front of the Louisville Metro Ethics Commission on charges she used her government position to enrich her family through a youth summer jobs program.
Green secured $35,000 for the “Green Clean Team” summer jobs program, intended to hire underprivileged youth to clean up alleys, lots and parks. Green ran the program, including making decisions on whom to hire.
Of the total monies, Green used $3,850 to hire 12 of her relatives, and another $28,270 of the funds are unaccounted for.
A police investigation said “the process by which this grant was established, completed and documented lacks professionalism, appears very unethical, and raises questions to the criminal allegations but there is not enough to support any further criminal investigation or prosecution.”
The ethics complaint was filed against Green, a dentist, by former police officer Ray Barker Jr., who ran against her in last May’s Democratic primary election.
Green’s lawyer, Kent Wicker said in a prepared statement “the ethics ordinance requires the process to be confidential. Unfortunately the complainant, who lost the last two elections to Dr. Green, wants to continue that political fight in the media and in this forum. But Dr. Green will follow the law and have no comment on the ethics complaint until the process is over.”
Critics disagree the matter is a private one.
Although the chairman of the ethics committee, Jonathan Ricketts, confirmed the meetings would be held confidentially in executive session, a lawyer representing the Courier-Journal said the city’s ordinance is in violation of state law.
“The open meetings law exempts deliberations … not the hearing of evidence,” Fleischaker said. “So I do not think they are entitled to take evidence at a quasi-judicial proceeding in closed session. They are entitled to deliberate privately, but the hearing itself should be open to the public.”
Information from: Courier-Journal