Prosecutor: Green aides, 100 Black Men will be subpoenaed

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by Joe Arnold

WHAS11.com

Posted on July 6, 2011 at 6:25 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 7 at 1:55 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) - The attorney hired to prosecute Councilwoman Judy Green's expulsion trial tells WHAS11 News that he will subpoena Green's current and former legislative aides and two officials with 100 Black Men of Louisville.

"We're going to be able to bring in some witnesses that just didn't show up at the ethics hearings," said Greg Hovious.

Hovious revealed on Wednesday that the core of the prosecution's case will be based on the same city grants allegations that prompted the Metro Ethics Commission to conclude that Green intentionally violated ethics laws.

The ethics commission dealt only with those two issues:

* how Green handled city grant money for a summer jobs program, and
* how Green redirected a grant intended for 100 Black Men  to other groups of her choosing, avoiding the scrutiny of the council.

"I started here as a neutral," Hovious said, "I ended up completely convinced that Dr. Green did engage in misconduct.  Willfull neglect. I think she abused the public's trust and I think she misused the taxpayers dollars."

Green blames her ethics violations on sloppy paperwork by her aides.

"We cannot watch our legislative aides 100 percent of the time," Green said, "particularly those of us who work an outside job."

Former Green aide Melody Hill will be compelled to testify, Hovious said.  In a police interview, Hill said that Green admitted to accepting a bribe from a liquor store owner.  That man, Ghassan Omari, denied the allegation when WHAS11 asked him in March.

Green's current aide, Andrea Jackson, will also be issued a subpoena, Hovious said.  Jackson told police that - without her knowledge - Green and Green's husband acquired a credit card using the Jackson's name and racked up $25,000 in debt.

Also on the witness list are the President of 100 Black Men of Louisville, Rob Jordan, and the treasurer of that organization, Charles Alexander, Hovious confirmed.

100 Black Men of Louisville had originally asked Green for a $1900 Metro Council grant to fund mentoring programs.  Instead, Green requested a $7500 grant, with the expectation that 100 Black Men would distribute the balance to expenditures of her choosing, including youth football teams, tickets to a Kentucky Derby brunch and catering for senior citizen safety seminars.
 
"I would love for those people to be subpoeaned," Green said, "because they can tell you exactly what happened."

In the police report, activist Eddie Woods alleges that his name was forged on at least 18 receipts from the Green Clean Team.

The Commonwealth's Attorney declined to press charges in the case, but it's not known if any revelations in a council trial could change that decision.

"I think there will be more sworn testimony after this hearing to make the decision," Hovious said, "because we're going to have subpoena power here."

Green suggested that the process is racially motivated, and that she is is being singled out because the other black council members are cozy with council President Jim King.

"I didn't make friends with the right person on the Metro Council," Green said, "The person who thinks they run this city and has said they run this city and don't give a darn about Greg Fischer running it. They run it."

Green did not deny that she was referring to King.
 
"I'm not saying. I will say at the appropriate time," she said.

Meanwhile, the prosecutor hired by the Council gave a hint of his opening statement against Green.

"You can't break the rules," Hovious said, "You can't break the rules of ethcis that - here's how you're going to handle the public's money.  You have to follow the rules.  the rules are in place so the taxpayers can see that their funds aren't being misuded.  there's a horrendous foul.  two of them for sure.

And perhaps more?

"And perhaps more," Hovious said.

Though Green said that she believes that her removal is a foregone conclusion, she has also said that she will not resign to avoid a messy council trial.

"This is all so crazy and such a witchhunt," Green said, "and I have not done anything wrong and I am going through all of this."

In 2005, the council declined to appoint Green to the vacant District 1 seat after questioning her about her personal financial problems.

Over the years, she has been delinquent with payments to the IRS, unpaid property taxes, occupational license fees and has never paid off a six-figure student loan.

Last month, five Metro Council members started the process to expel Green.

On Monday, July 11, the 20 remaining council members who will act as the jury will be sworn in and briefed.

Next Thursday, July 14, the five council members who petitioned for Green to be removed will meet with Hovious.

A two to three day trial is expected in the second week of August.

 

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