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King, Council Move to Prevent Another Cordish

August 21st, 2009 by admin · 12 Comments

At least the Metro Council is trying to make sure the million-dollar giveaway of taxpayer money doesn’t happen again.

Jim King, the Council’s budget committee chairman and rumored candidate for Mayor, is preparing an ordinance to be introduced next week that will require any project financed with taxpayer dollars to be subject to open records laws and that there be no confidentiality agreements concerning the way money is spent.

“If they are going to take our money, it will require them to tell us how it will be spent,” he said.

King said he expects that Kelly Downard will co-sponsor the ordinance, that will likely be sent to the Budget Committee after next Thursday’s meeting. It could be voted on by the full Council the following week.

“I think it will be a slam dunk,” King said.

The legislation, of course, is prompted by the $950,000 granted to Cordish Company by Mayor Jerry Abramson to renovate the Sports and Social Club at Fourth Street Live. Two weeks ago, a contingent from Louisville traveled to Cordish’s Baltimore headquarters to see the books, but were forced to sign a confidentiality agreement before being allowed to inspect the documents.

City auditor Mike Norman, last Friday, released a report on the trip which revealed nothing about the way the money was spent.

This week, community activist Chris Thieneman filed an open records request with the Metro asking to see the information. He said he expects that request to be denied, and he said he’s planning legal action unless city officials provide more information about how the money was spent.

King said the resolution won’t affect the Cordish deal, though he said he understands Thieneman’s frustration.

Tags: Chris Thieneman · Construction · Cordish · Downtown · Jerry Abramson · Jim King · Mayor's Race 2010 · Metro Council · Metro Government

12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 EdenSprings // Aug 21, 2009 at 9:25 am

    Where were Jim King and the rest of the Dems on the Council when this deal was being hashed out in the first place? After 5 terms in office, did they not realize that Mr. Happy Pants had perfected ‘end-run’ politics? Did the thought never occur to them that some preemptive road blocks might save their collective butt’s down the line (not to mention prevent the pillaging of our city’s coffers)?

    Where was Jim King when Jerry was handing out that ‘sign on bonus’ to Chief White? Extra vacation pay to his Metro cronies? For that matter, where were King and the Dems when the ill-conceived smoking ban exempted Churchill Downs? Which of them ignored County Attorney memos that Meloche’s proposed ‘dog ordinance’ was riddled with illegalities? Who amongst them ever stood up to Jerry or demanded answers, much less thought out the consequences of their own actions that aided Jerry’s policies. How many major lawsuits has Metro been subjected to over the Council’s efforts to please their Master? How many millions in damages have resulted from those lawsuits? Far more than the $950,000 that Jerry gifted to Cordish!

    Jim I-wish-I-was-King? David Candy? Aren’t these the same people who have been labeling Kelly Downard and the Republican’s “anti-progress” and “an anchor” when they protested the Council getting stretched over a barrel time and again?

    Einstein said “You cannot solve a problem with the same kind of thinking that created the problem.”

    I agree that this action should be taken, but it’s long overdue. That horse left the barn several terms back. I think someone needs to tally up the lawsuit damages AND owed legal fees that King & Candy and the Dems have racked up over the last couple of years and let them start explaining why, after the first fiasco, they continued to pass faulty legislation that they knew would result in legal actions which would prevail in court.

  • 2 JasonL // Aug 21, 2009 at 10:36 am

    Closing the door after the horse has left… but that’s the way all politicians act, on the left and the right…

  • 3 Willy // Aug 21, 2009 at 11:01 am

    At least someone is making an effort to change the good old Happy Pants way of doing things. You have got to start somewhere.
    Thank-you Jim King and Kelly D.

  • 4 Rader // Aug 21, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Lt. Gov for life!

  • 5 voter // Aug 21, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    I agree that the time is way past to do something about the raping & pilliaging that was led by Jerry,Traughber,Tandy & crew!…..The thing that should really be done is to offer the people something back that were & continue to be damaged by the scummy dirty deals.
    I hope Chris T. is successfull in the legal action . The exposure & elimination of all those crooks will make this community much better off.
    It’ll be very interesting to see some depositions from those politicians, think they are getting a little nervous?….Hope so!….

  • 6 Richard // Aug 22, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    I think that they should drag the Auditor Crit Luallen in here and have her and staff go through all the books of the Metro Government.. Jack “Tough Son of Beech” Conway should decide to prosecute every last one of them for violating the law. But he won’t do that because of political pressure from the KDP and the Louisville Democrats. But that is what needs to be done. Furthermore, they should be out there finding all the crap that Jerry Abramson, Bruce Traughber, and the like have been doing all these years.

    Furthermore, there needs to be an FBI investigation of the local government. I’m sure that would find a good amount of information including memos etc of things these people have been doing.

  • 7 Richard // Aug 22, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    EdenSprings has some really excellent points in his commentary. I do hope that Chris T. does come out and start hammering these crooks in city government. They all need to be held to account for what they have been doing over the years. This problem has not occurred in the last 2 or 3 years. It has been going on for decades. Jerry Abramson has had numerous ethical lapses since the 1980s

  • 8 Ed Springston // Aug 22, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Well said Eden well said. And for the record Chris Thieneman has challenged this type behavior for a long time. He challenged the illegal River Fields deal, Challenged and financed the anti library tax and a host of other things. Though he gets beat up alot by media, and in some other circles, I have worked with Chris on a few issues myself. He is genuine in his efforts to make it better. I am proud to call him friend.

  • 9 Thinknaloud // Aug 22, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    Here we go again. Let’s pass some more legislation.
    Who’s to say there isn’t already something on the books that doesn’t allow for this underhanded kind of deal to take place.
    Is this just a case of calling for legislation after the horse is out of the barn or is it a way to take the spotlight off of a fellow Dem and make yourself look like a great candidate.
    We have systems and laws in place. Are they being used? Are our elected officials or those running for office smart enough to use them? Inquiring minds want to know but they’re also not holding their breath.

  • 10 chris thieneman // Aug 23, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Hey Thinknaloud

    Finding out if we have laws in place is exactly why I started on my lawsuit. First and foremost I want to know exactly that. Do we already have laws in place.
    Tomorrow at noon will be 3 biz days from my open records request. Some acknowledgment should come by then and I will report here one way or another.
    Rest assured there is no coincidence that Jim King and Co is trying to keep this from happening again. Remember he plans on announcing his run for mayor this week. but what he should be asking is why after 20 years in office hasn’t jerry done this already?
    A big thanks to Dan Klepal from the CJ for investigating Kings ordinance. Dan checked with an attorney and found out that as written the ordinance was not worth the paper it was written on. Why didn’t King check with county attorney first? Or did he check and decided to leave it alone just to have an ordinance on record and look like he cared?
    These politicians never seem to surprise me.

  • 11 chief // Aug 24, 2009 at 12:58 am

    Dan Klepal is the only reporter at the C-J with the balls to tell the truth & not put some spin on it to sugarcoat things. I’me sure we’ll be seeing a lot more on point stuff from him!

  • 12 Chuck // Aug 24, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Where has Jim King been in these so many years regarding transparency? Where was he when Mayor Happy Pants was pilfering the city treasury to the tunes of millions of dollars of malinvestment, payoffs, and Centre City. Or the fact that millions have been lost in back pay to fire and police while it was tied up in court for years.

    This city council needs to be cleaned out from top to bottom with the exception of a couple of them. Its got to be one of the most incompetent groups of people to allow these clowns running city government the opportunity to soak the taxpayers with more money out of their pockets, debts that need to be paid, and all the other responsibilities that have been unfunded.

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