LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Not long after Lt. Jimmy Harper was demoted from the rank of lieutenant, he complained directly to Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer during a public event. Harper maintains he was raising safety concerns and LMPD Chief Steve Conrad's decision to eliminate flex platoons, which focused on crime "hot-spots" around the city.
Harper said his concern was to alert Fischer about an issue of public safety, which his lawyers contend protects him under the whistleblower statute.
Conrad returned to the witness stand in the trial Thursday and painted Harper as an officer who had no respect for the head of department or chain of command.
"Protocol and common decency for a member of my staff should be to bring that matter to me before he goes to my boss," Chief Conrad said.
The chief, though, admitted he did nothing to correct Harper, despite repeatedly telling jurors there were seven factors that went into the decision to demote Harper.
There was very little discipline given to Harper by his former supervisor Kim Kraeszig. She said since Harper's demotion, he became distant and seemed to not want to be part of the leadership team. Still, she said he was only written up one time.
"I didn't feel that I should be writing up majors because I feel when you get paid six figures that if I have to be writing you up for that, you don't need to be a major," Kraeszig said.
Kraeszig is now the chief of police in Bardstown.
She stressed to jurors Harper's demotion was not the product of retaliation, but Harper's own doing.
"If you're in a canoe and you have three people paddling upstream, it was like he was paddling in a different direction, it was just a constant battle," she said, using an analogy.
Kraeszig and Conrad testified Harper's actions were that of a disgruntled employee, not someone who should rightfully win a lawsuit against the city.
"I don't believe now, I didn't believe then that then Major Harper was blowing any whistles," Conrad said.
Harper has said he also raised the issue that most of a $1.2M surplus given to LMPD for overtime had been used long before anyone expected. Conrad testified there is currently an ongoing internal criminal investigation into the department's overtime use.
Harper's lawyers said the flex platoon and overtime issues protect him as a whistleblower.
Testimony is expected to resume at 11:30 am Friday morning.