In a unanimous decision, the Louisville Metro Ethics Commission has ruled that Councilwoman Judy Green, D-1, deliberately violated the city’s ethics ordinance and should be removed from office.
Green was charged with nepotism and using a city-funded summer jobs program to benefit members of her family. In 2009, Green approached Dr. Eddie Woods, founder of the LIFE Institute, to run the “Green Clean Team” in her district, but the beautification project was quickly embroiled in controversy.
After certain participants were unpaid, a police internal audit last December revealed 12 of Green’s family members worked in the program and were enriched as a result. The audit also found Green, her staff and her husband ran the program and were making payroll decisions.
It was revealed during an ethics hearing last month that the average youth participant related to Green received $310 average pay compared to $195 paid to non-relatives in the program.
After an hour and a half of deliberation the panel returned the verdict, which includes a letter of censure and a letter of reprimand over her handling of the program she sponsored.
From the ethics commission ruling:
“The commission finds Dr. (Judith) Green intended to and did in fact use LIFE Institute’s legitimate status to receive Metro funds in obtaining public funds. Further, the commission finds Dr. Green intended to use the funds and run the program in accordance with her standards and directives. Dr. Green did not intend to turn control of the program over to the LIFE Institute after funds were received. The commission finds by clear and convincing evidence that the described actions of Dr. Judith Green constitute intentional and deliberate violations of the Louisville Metro Code of Ethics.”
Neither Green nor her attorneys were present at the deliberation, and the councilwoman could not be reached for comment. The ruling is the harshest penalty the panel could deliver and sets the stage for Green to be the first city lawmaker removed from a office.