A west Louisville group has invited Metro Councilwoman Judy Green, D-1, to a public forum tonight to discuss the two ethics charges filed against her, but it’s unclear if the embattled city lawmaker will show up.
American Slaves, Inc. has invited Green and retired police officer Ray Barker, Sr., to tell their side of the story in a debate. A flier promoting the event says the public discussion is to help residents understand the controversy better and provide the community direction to “brace for her predicted dismissal” from the council.
“Our concern isn’t necessarily who is right and who is wrong. Our concern is what was working—is that going to be affected—or can we also be more progressive with this delicate matter and keep the people in concern,” says moderator Dereck Barber.
Earlier this year, Barker, who ran against Green in last year’s Democratic primary, alleged Green used a city-funded summer jobs program to benefit members of her family. The councilwoman’s defense has argued Barker is seeking to unseat Green in a future campaign.
In previous interviews, Barker has said he would seek an appointment from the council if Green were removed from office.
Green faces another ethics charge that she broke council rules by instructing a non-profit group to reroute money to other agencies at her discretion in a case filed by community activist Ed Springston.
The ethics commission hasn’t made a decision in either hearing and members have discouraged Green, Barker and Springston from speaking publicly about the proceedings in the past.
Barber says both Green and Barker had initially promised to appear, but Green told him Tuesday morning she would have seek advice from her lawyers before making a final decision and that her husband, James Green, would speak on her behalf until further notice.
Green’s attorneys declined our request for comment.
Barker also indicated a reluctance to show up when asked about American Slaves, Inc., which lists Charles Alexander III, who served as Green’s campaign treasurer last year, as a founding and current member.
Still, forum organizers believe the community doesn’t know all of the details in the controversy despite coverage from various news outlets. And there’s a disconnect in the district, says Barber, adding citizens are concerned about the funding of certain programs if Green should be removed from office.
“We don’t know if those programs can run in spite of her or are they running because of her efforts. Both Ray Barker and Councilperson Judy Green have done great things and have great hopes for their district,” he says. “So we’re not trying to focus on are we getting ready to kick her out, we’re trying to focus on how are we going to keep these people in order.”
The forum is scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight at the United Missionary Baptist Church, located at 314 Dr. W.J. Hodge Street at the corner of 21st and Jefferson Streets.