Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Panel Rules Green Intentionally Violated Ethics Law in Second Case

After deliberating for over two and a half hours, the Louisville Metro Ethics Commission ruled Councilwoman Judy Green, D-1, deliberately violated the city’s code of ethics in the case of rerouting funds through a non-profit group without the council’s knowledge. The decision is the second guilty verdict made against Green in less than a month.

Two years ago Green appropriated $7,500 to 100 Black Men of Louisville for a mentoring program even though the group only needed $1,900. No documents filed by Green’s office showed the money was being rerouted to other organizations.

“We found that her involvement with 100 Black Men from the inception of the grant proposal all the way through the passage, lobbying and distribution of the money was a violation of the ethics ordinance,” says Ethics Commission Chairman Jonathan Ricketts.

“It’s not a good day for government. It’s not a good day for the taxpayers. It’s not a good day for members of the Metro Council,” he added. “We don’t enjoy what we have to do. And it is…it’s a tough job.”

During the hearing on the second charge, Green admitted it was a mistake to tell the organization to use the funds elsewhere but she blamed the shoddy paperwork on her former legislative aide.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Green Lobbying Colleagues for Support

Louisville Metro Councilwoman Judy Green, D-1, has been lobbying fellow members in an attempt to influence their decision in her pending removal hearing, according to several sources in City Hall.

A bipartisan group of five council members signed a petition to impeach the embattled city lawmaker Monday, citing the two ethics cases against Green. In the first complaint, the Ethics Commission ruled she deliberately violated the ethics ordinance and recommended her ouster. The decision in the second complaint is expected next month.

During this week’s budget meetings, however, Green has approached several members in and out of the council chambers to ask for support. Many have complained the cajoling is inappropriate to go about in the midst of hearings to revise the mayor’s spending plan. lawmakers

Councilwoman Madonna Flood, D-24, who moved to impeach Green, says the unnecessary pressure could potentially taint the process as well.

“I will remind my colleague—and I have—that this is an ongoing process and it should not be tainted by discussing this, period,” she says, adding Green had begun lobbying colleagues for support before the ethics commission made its decision last week.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

C-J Editorial Board: Green Must Go

In a methodical editorial, the Louisville Courier-Journal joins the five members of the Metro Council who moved to impeach Councilwoman Judy Green, D-1, in arguing she must be removed from office.

A bipartisan group signed a petition for removal Monday, which was delivered to the council clerk’s office and cites the two ethics complaints filed against the embattled city lawmaker.

Last week, the ethics commission ruled on the first complaint, slapping Green with its harshest penalty in a unanimous decision that she intentionally violated the ethics ordinance by committing nepotism and enriching members of her family in a city-funded program she lobbied funding for.

The trial against Green could start within 60 to 90 days, and will be decided by a two-thirds vote whether to oust her or not. But in the meantime, observers are chiming in with the hope that Green will step down.

From the C-J:

The (ethics commission) closed its damning report by invoking the strongest penalties it could for Councilwoman Green — letters of reprimand and censure, to be issued later — but it also recommended that the full Metro Council start the proceedings to remove Ms. Green from office.

That would be a sad end to her public life, but the ethics commission’s findings are unequivocal.

Local News Noise & Notes Politics

UPDATE: Council Moves to Impeach Green

After reviewing the findings of the Louisville Metro Ethics Commission, five members of the Metro Council have signed a petition calling for the removal of Councilwoman Judy Green, D-1, from office.

The five members are Tina Ward-Pugh, D-9, Barbara Shanklin, D-2, Kevin Kramer, R-11, Stuart Benson, R-20, and Madonna Flood, D-24, who met with legal counsel Monday to discuss the various accusations against Green stemming from two ethics cases against her.

After deliberating, the bipartisan group agreed to move forward with the petition for removal, which was delivered to the Metro Council Clerk’s office. It cites the two ethics complaints filed against the embattled city lawmaker, one of which have come back in a unanimous decision by the ethics commission that Green intentional violated the ethics ordinance.

“I don’t have any comment,” Green told a WFPL reporter.

Last Friday, however, Green told different media outlets she will fight to keep her seat and said she would not resign. She has maintained her innocence and criticized the process as a “sham.”

In a joint statement, Ward-Pugh and Kramer said they had hoped Green would have stepped down to spare herself, her family and the council an ongoing controversy.

“The decision to move forward with the removal process was not taken lightly. It was our hope that Councilwoman Green would resign and prevent this action Understanding that Councilwoman Green plans to stay in office, despite the many findings against her, we have no choice but to move forward with a fair process that allows for all information to be heard in accordance with our rules.”

The council will now act as a court with subpoena power and will decide by a two-thirds vote the councilwoman’s fate.