LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- The Louisville Metro Council's Public Safety Committee met on Wednesday afternoon regarding LMPD’s Explorer Program.
The committee reviewed former US attorney Kerry Harvey's report on the program. Harvey was hired by Mayor Greg Fischer in 2017, following allegations of sexual misconduct by Metro Police with students in the Explorer Program.
Members of the Louisville Metro Public Safety Committee, some of whom have criticized the findings of the investigation, asked former US Attorney Kerry Harvey if he had other motives to conclude no cover up in the LMPD sex scandal with the youth Explorer Program.
“Would it be beneficial for the person who was paying for your investigation to have your report conclude that there was no cover-up?” Councilman Kevin Kramer asked.
He was asking in regards to a meeting in March 2017 that Harvey said he was a part of it. The city lawyers were present at the meeting and trying to craft a defense for the city.
Council members wondered why, if Harvey was supposed to be conducting an independent investigation, why would be in that meeting?
“The way it was presented to me is that the officer who did the 2013 investigation was going to do a presentation about that investigation and that it would be a good opportunity for me to hear firsthand what he did,” Harvey explained.
Three weeks ago he concluded there were mistakes made by the investigating officers. In 2013, when an explorer first reported inappropriate text messages from Kenneth Betts, those explicit images were deleted.
In the PSU investigation, there were some images that were found on Explorer 1's phone that were troubling, and the decision was made that those images had no evidentiary value and could be embarrassing to Explorer 1 and so they were destroyed and we think the better course would've been to preserve those images and to report to Explorer 1's parents that those images were on that phone,” Harvey explained.
Harvey said to the committee that investigators may have missed evidence that could have triggered officers to think that was not an isolated incident, but did not find evidence of a cover-up.
“You have to assume there's a very large number of people who know about this, if the allegations are true, this monstrous conduct and decided we're going to allow the abuse of these children and go on and agree to keep quiet,” he said, defending his findings.
“I'm not saying it's a cover-up but I'm saying it seems awfully coincidental that a lot of things happened and we had a lot more children that were hurt,” Council President David James said after the committee hearing.
The questioning will reconvene in two weeks at the next Public Hearing Committee meeting where members expect Harvey to present a full timeline from the investigation.