A hearing on the ethics charges against Louisville Metro Councilwoman Judy Green is scheduled for later this week. The city lawmaker has been accused of using a city-funded summer jobs program—dubbed the “Green Clean Team”—to benefit members of her family.
Last summer, wages owed to youth participants were delayed for several months due to an investigation by the city auditor, who was unable to document expenditures from the $55,000 grant Green had secured for the program.
In December, an internal audit and police investigation found that over $28,000 of the initial grant was unaccounted for due to poor bookkeeping. The reports also found that Green ran the program with 12 of her relatives or foster children receiving 10 percent of the $35,000 in city money allocated for the program.
Green has denied any wrongdoing, disputed the findings, and claimed the charges are politically motivated.
Retired police officer Ray Barker, Sr., who filed the complaint and ran against Green in last year’s Democratic primary, says the charges have nothing to do with politics.
“It’s an issue of right and wrong,” he says. “Judy needs to apologize to the constituents that voted her in, that trusted her to do the right thing.”
Barker has a lengthy witness list that he plans to call before the commission, including youth and parents involved with the Green Clean Team, the city auditor, police investigators, Green’s former legislative aide and her husband.
He wants the embattled city lawmaker to admit she made a mistake and pay the money back.
“She needs to find a way to start the healing in our community,” says Barker. “I don’t know how she’s going to start the healing, but only she can start the healing. It’s because of her misgivings we’re going through this today.”
The hearing could be rescheduled depending on a new ethics complaint that was filed against Green last week, which alleges she broke council rules by instructing a non-profit group to reroute money to other agencies.
On Friday, activist Ed Springston formally entered the charges with the commission on Friday, saying the embattled city lawmaker should be removed from office.
Springston and Barker have asked the commission to amend the allegations against Green in order to hold one hearing, but the city’s ethics law gives Green 20 days to respond to the new charges.
The hearing is scheduled for this Thursday.