Judge removes David Yates from Youth Explorer case

Yates removed from Explorer case due to conflict of interest

LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- Metro Council President and attorney David Yates was removed from LMPD's Youth Explorer case alleging sexual abuse by officers. 

Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman disqualified him Tuesday morning.

RELATED: Indictments handed down in LMPD Youth Explorer sex case

County Attorney Mike O'Connell argued to remove Yates from the case, saying he couldn't sue the city and stand to personally profit while serving on Metro Council.

Yates said he sought ethics guidance before filing the lawsuit. Yates represented a former scout who claimed he was raped while in the program by former officers Kenneth Betts and Brandon Wood. The suit further claims the abuse was concealed by department officials.

RELATED: Third person files lawsuit in Youth Explorer case, attorney says

WHAS11's Ana Rivera talked to the other attorney who was working with Yates on this case and he said the following: 

Statement from Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell:
 
“When the sitting Metro Council president sued the government he swore to serve, I recalled my 10 years’ experience as a judge and my time as a member of the Board of Governors for the Kentucky Bar Association and its ethics committee. This was a fight I neither sought nor relished, but it was of such importance that I felt duty-bound to bring it to the court’s attention.
 
“Judge McDonald-Burkman’s decision to disqualify President Yates should instill confidence that our elected officials owe a higher duty to the people’s government than to their own personal gain. 
 
“The plaintiffs and defendants deserve their day in court, one that is untainted by President Yates’ conflict of interest. Now that the issue of disqualification has been resolved, this case can proceed in an orderly manner in the pursuit of justice.”

 

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