Another day, another public relations disaster for Jerry Abramson.
An internal city audit has turned up an expense no one except the Mayor seems to have known about — some extra pay for Police Chief Robert White. It was reported at 11 last night by WAVE’s Lindsay English.
Metro Councilman Kelly Downard, always good for a critical comment, said the problem with the pension payments of about $90,000 for two years paid to White and agreed to by Abramson was the secrecy of it all. The deal was that when he signed on in 2002, White agreed that he wouldn’t get the money until he stayed in Louisville for five years. That way, he wouldn’t lose the pension he’d built up at his previous job in North Carolina. But the deal wasn’t known by anyone else.
“No one knows this was going on until, thank goodness, the internal auditor brought it up and you did some investigative work and found out who it was. If we didn’t know that, no one would have ever known. We would have never known,” he told WAVE.
Abramson spokesperson Kerri Richardson, on the defensive, said something that’s likely to come up a lot in future campaigns.
“The Mayor does have the discretion, especially for employees such as the police chief, that serve at his discretion to make policies that are the best fit for the city, the taxpayers and for that individual,” she said.
Conclusion: The Mayor can make excessive payments to favored individuals when he feels like it, with no approval required from anyone else.