After months of mounting allegations, a hearing on the ethics charges against Louisville Metro Councilwoman Judy Green, D-1, begins today.
The embattled city lawmaker faces charges of wrongdoing, unethical behavior and financial mismanagement in two separate complaints that stem from an audit and police investigation, which raised serious questions about her conduct on the council.
In the first complaint, Green has been accused of using a city-funded summer jobs program—dubbed the “Green Clean Team”—to benefit members of her family. An internal audit found that 12 of Green’s family members worked in the program and collected $3,580.
The Ethics Commission moved last month to add the charge of nepotism to that case, citing some of her family members were allegedly paid more than other participants.
Another complaint filed by community activist Ed Springston alleges Green broke council rules by instructing a non-profit group to reroute money to other agencies.
In 2009, she allegedly told officers with 100 Black Men to ask for more money than the group needed in order to give out the additional funds at her discretion, including the purchase of tickets for a Kentucky Derby fundraiser that she attended.
The trial-like proceedings will include a hearing investigator—attorney James Earthart—arguing the case against Green and presenting evidence. Green’s attorney, Kent Wicker, will defend her during the case.
A lengthy witness list by both sides will testify under oath and a hearing officer appointed by the commission will act as the judge and rule on what evidence is permissible. At the conclusion, the hearing officer will have 20 days to present their findings to the commission.
The seven members of the commission will then vote on whether to uphold the hearing officer’s findings or dismiss the charges. According to the city’s ethics law, the commission has a number of rulings.
Unintentional ethics violations can result in no penalty or a letter of reprimand. Intentional violations allow for a range of punishments, including a public censure, fines and removal from office.
The hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Thursday on the fourth floor of the old Jefferson County Courthouse.
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