The 'Ville Voice header image 1

Greg Fischer: Are You Really This Inept? What???

August 28th, 2014 by jake · 20 Comments

Seriously, folks, is Greg Fischer this inept? Is the man purposefully trying to sink his mayoral ship?

Here’s some more of our “grade school journalism” for you to think about this morning.

Courier-Journal:

City staff brushes off animal services meeting

An animal advocate was emotional Wednesday as she discussed a young pit bull that was euthanized after needing medical care for months in the custody of Louisville Metro Animal Services and an inquiry into the situation by a Metro Council committee.

-SNIP-

Callahan and Eaves would not say whether they believe there was neglect…

-SNIP-

Chris Poynter, a spokesman for Fischer, confirmed the administration would not be at the meeting or send the documents until the police department’s Public Integrity Unit completes its investigation.

-SNIP-

Fischer general counsel Kellie Watson, who did attend the meeting, gave council members discs containing information that had already been provided to the public or media through requests.

-SNIP-

Councilman Kelly Downard, co-chair of the committee, who said members do not want to compromise any investigation, indicated the Public Integrity Unit was already looking into the situation before Fischer’s request.

-SNIP-

Fischer asked the Public Integrity Unit to investigate the situation even though he said he had a team examine the situation when it first came to officials’ attention earlier in the summer and that there was no evidence that employees acted improperly.

“They determined there was nothing inappropriate,” he said. But, Poynter said, once the council continued to raise the issue, they thought it was appropriate for PIU to conduct an independent review.

Several council members questioned why the administration has not provided its examination, which they said could answer their questions.

First — for anyone to try taking the spotlight from the council is a little bit bizarre. Those folks definitely knew there was neglect and have said as much via email. Do we really have to go down this road by pointing out that they’re stretching a bit with the media? All this fake-crying and hand wringing is silly and unnecessary.

But back to the story…

Hilarious that Fischer is trying to claim he’s the reason there’s a police investigation… only to have Metro Council point out it was taking place before the mayor asked for it.

And about that internal investigation Fischer said has already taken place? Wait til we get to the WAVE story. You’ll wet yourself.

WDRB:

Louisville’s Metro Council investigating Animal Services dept. following dog’s death

Questions about Metro Animal Services’ handling of a dog named Sadie are just part of what Metro Council members want to know about the agency.

-SNIP-

“Is there still some reason for us to think that there are parts of this that the mayor doesn’t feel like it is appropriate for us to be asking for,” said metro council member Kevin Kramer, (R)-Dist. 11.

-SNIP-

“Many of the council members had seen that press release. We had it on our desks where the mayor’s office had said they had already done an examination of the situation. We just really want to get the facts and understand what’s going on,” said council member David James, (D)-Dist. 6.

“A number of the concerns we were having early on, were pretty much expanding daily. We wanted a clear picture of the total situation prior to moving forward,” said council member and ad hoc committee co-chairman Kelly Downard, (R)-Dist. 16.

Not exactly the kind of press the mayor needs — bipartisan skepticism. Investigations, hearings, county attorney, police, public integrity, animal cruelty, coverup.

WLKY

Metro Animal Services comes under fire amid corruption allegations

Louisville Metro Animal Services is coming under fire amid allegations of corruption.

A metro council committee met Wednesday to discuss the scandal.

-SNIP-

Members of the committee are currently trying to gather facts to see if someone should be held accountable.

Not bad for a station that’s focused on the bare minimum. Terrible for a mayor who just wishes he could make this all go away.

WHAS apparently credited this site (thanks, Joe Arnold! you’re always the best) during its evening newscast but this afternoon story is borderline plagiarized from several sources, not just TVV:

Special committee meeting held after complaints about LMAS

A special committee will start an eight week investigation into Louisville Metro Animal Services Wednesday night.

-SNIP-

Emails obtained through an open records request accuse the agency of neglecting to raise funds or allow Sadie’s foster to raise funds for her surgery. Her medical records show she had ingested some of her own leg in an attempt to alleviate the pain. She developed pneumonia and was eventually euthanized.

The ad hoc committee will look into those allegations, as well as review how the department is run overall. Donald Robinson has been serving as interim director of LMAS.

-SNIP-

Below are the emails and records we obtained through an Open Records Request…

Pro-tip to WHAS: When you get documents that the Fischer Administration is keeping secret from this website, don’t act like you did the reporting yourself.

Those records weren’t initially obtained via an open records request — they were provided to us by LMAS employees because LMAS and the Fischer Administration were illegally withholding the documents, as this website reported. Hello? That’s what launched the investigation(s)!

But nice to see you covering the story you’ve refused to cover for ages.

Here’s the kicker — WAVE:

Fischer response to dog case leaves Metro Council members ‘baffled’

Louisville Metro Council members said Mayor Greg Fischer’s explanations of an alleged animal abuse case involving a member of his administration left them confused.

-SNIP-

“Baffled is the right term. I was very surprised,” said Kelly Downard (R-District 16), one of the committee’s co-chairs. “All we want to do is cooperate and get this thing done and find out what happened. It’s confusing why we’re having such a hard time doing it.”

The allegations have united Republicans and Democrats on the Metro Council in seeking answers from Fischer’s administration. Four members of Fischer’s administration, including Brosko, didn’t come as requested to the committee meeting.

Fischer’s legal counsel Kellie Watson showed up instead, and she faced intense questioning from council members, especially after she was either unwilling or unable to provide details about an internal investigation that found nothing improper.

Councilman David James, a Democrat (District 6) who sits on the committee, asked Watson whether there had been an internal investigation.

“I can’t answer at this exact moment,” Watson replied.

After the meeting WAVE 3 News asked Watson to clear up the confusion, but she walked away from a question without providing details about the internal probe. Fischer later said his administration wouldn’t provide key information or people requested by council members until the Metro Police Public Integrity Unit investigation was complete.

“We just want to take it one step at a time,” Fischer said, who said he knew about no wrongdoing. “Our director spoke to all the people involved, got an understanding of what the facts were, and felt like the procedures we had were followed.”

-SNIP-

Downard said he had spoken to Adkins, and the accuser was prepared to sign an affidavit about her allegations against Metro Animal Services staff.

“It is a corrupt place, led by people who do not care for the animals, but for good press,” stated a letter from Adkins that committee co-chair Cindi Fowler read aloud in the meeting.

Brosko transferred to Fischer’s office as a spokeswoman after news of the case broke, but LMAS officials have said it was simply a promotion.

All right for Theo Keith proving that good journalism is possible in Louisville television! Other stations should take note, as that’s the kind of work they should be doing. The kind of work that doesn’t require one give credit where it’s due because it’s all their work, their original reporting, their hardworking efforts to get people on camera.

Fischer admitted it was his METRO ANIMAL SERVICES DIRECTOR (!!) who conducted the “investigation” and found nothing to see here, move along, puppies and rainbows.

How bout that?

Every media outlet in town is finally covering LMAS and Fischer is apparently orchestrating a for real, literal coverup. But a bi-partisan team of Metro Council members are having none of it and they’re doing this city proud by holding the executive branch accountable. There’s even a criminal investigation.

We’re all so surprised that it’s tough to digest. Media covering LMAS: wow. Government doing its job: wow. Criminal investigation: wow. Fischer coverup: wow.

CRAZINESS!

Tags: Bad Behavior · Crime · Dogs · Ethics · Greg Fischer · Metro Council · Metro Government · Police · Scandal

20 responses so far ↓

  • 1 briansmith // Aug 28, 2014 at 10:03 am

    keep at it Jake.

  • 2 Denise Spalding // Aug 28, 2014 at 10:33 am

    Keep the pressure on Jake. I have tweeted and FB your link!!

  • 3 The 'ole Highlander // Aug 28, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Amazing. Just Googled Kentucky Bar Association lawyer locater and plugged in the name Kellie Watson (who the CJ reports is general counsel for Mr. Fischer). There is no lawyer licensed in Kentucky called “Kellie Watson.” Explanation, please?

  • 4 jake // Aug 28, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Watson used to work for the Transportation Cabinet in Frankfort, if I remember correctly. The most corrupt agency in the entirety of the Commonwealth.

    Then she became head of HR in Louisville.

    I think ‘Renee’ is part of her name, may want to search that.

    Remember the Younis case? Watson was one of the people who tried to cover that mess up.

  • 5 The 'ole Highlander // Aug 28, 2014 at 11:18 am

    No Renee Watson, either, registered as a lawyer in Louisville, Kentucky. Cite is: Kentucky Bar Association Lawyer Locater. Just plug in name, city and county. Not there.

  • 6 Animal advocate // Aug 28, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Kellie Renee Watson was found when I looked her up in the Bar locater.

  • 7 Shelli Ernst // Aug 28, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    I have been (pleasantly) shocked by the television coverage. I couldn’t believe seeing all of the headlines. And yes, the “baffled” one was the best, in my opinion. Jake, you are the epitome of perseverance. Now we all get to finally see the fruits of your labor take hold. Thank you.

  • 8 jake // Aug 28, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Appreciate the kind words but it’s not just me. It’s a team of people dedicated to cleaning up the sad mess called Louisville Metro Animal Services.

    For every hour I’ve put in, someone else has put in a dozen.

  • 9 Lynne // Aug 28, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Watching the video of this council meeting, makes it very clear – Fischer & his administration are trying to obstruct this fact finding mission. Kellie Watson contradicted herself repeatedly & was called on it by Council Members. The Public Integrity Unit is a police investigation into criminal activity. There are ethics involved, as well the crime of animal cruelty. Fischer claims the “director” examined the events surrounding Sadie & nobody did anything wrong. What director? Justin Scalley has been gone for over a year. Donald Robinson is one of the people allegedly involved with the neglect of Sadie. I sincerely hope Metro Council holds Fischer, Brosko, Robinson, Sadiqa & Alisa Oerther – who evidently all knew are held accountable. The atmosphere of retaliation & fear @ LMAS is a direct result of Sadiqa’s “You are either with us or against us” attitude. I am disgusted by the continued attempts to cover up wrongdoing @ LMAS.

  • 10 jake // Aug 28, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    I’m disgusted, too.

    But it’s certainly a breath of fresh air to see Metro Council stepping up.

    Maybe putting the cart before the horse but I’m glad those councilcritters are trying to prove me wrong – that they are definitely worthy of praise and can do a great job when they work together.

  • 11 Cavemouse // Aug 28, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    Wouldn’t it be ironic that the abuse of a helpless dog could be what brings down the mountain of BS Mayor Compassionate has built? Daddy and Jerry will probably tell him to have Margaret and Sadiqa take the fall. Funny thing, I do not see Sadiqa going quietly into that good night. She will take as many people with her as she can. A lot of skeletons may fall out of that closet before it is over.

  • 12 Earl // Aug 28, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    I’m no fan of the way the Fischer administration conducts itself, but I can’t see any way this is not a proper decision.
    Garrity vs. New Jersey pretty much dictates that a criminal investigation be complete before questioning potential suspects regarding potentially illegal activities. That is, unless your goal is to have the criminal case thrown out.
    Garrity uses more words, but that is the gist of it.

  • 13 jake // Aug 28, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    Fischer started stalling long before any criminal investigation started. Looong before he thought it would come to that.

  • 14 Valley // Aug 28, 2014 at 6:39 pm

    Actually, that isn’t what Garrity says. They can, in fact, be required to testify in the internal proceeding, and what they say (provided they tell the truth) cannot be used against them in a criminal proceeding, as it is a coerced confession. But it CAN be used against them in the administrative, internal proceeding.

  • 15 Valley // Aug 28, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    That does NOT mean they can’t be questioned, they can simply refuse to answer. But they cannot refuse to answer in the internal proceeding, Garrity takes away that right. It is intended to balance the rights of the government, which needs to get answers and use those answers to discipline public employees, but those employees have the same rights as anyone to not be forced to testify against themselves in a criminal investigation.

  • 16 Valley // Aug 28, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Kellie Renee Watson is a lawyer. But what has always bugged me is that by law, ONLY the County Attorney can represent the City, but Fischer (and Abramson before him) always have had pet attorneys, Tina Heavrin, Babs Elliott and now this person ….

  • 17 Earl // Aug 29, 2014 at 10:07 am

    …I didn’t actually quote the law, but what I did post is the typical and most practical way to handle it. Sure, it looks bad to not show up. It would look worse to show up and refuse to answer.

    I agree about the pet attorneys. They aren’t even good attorneys, which is probably why they’re taking up space in government positions that aren’t very demanding and don’t require results that look responsible and make sense.
    The police have one, and there was policy that you couldn’t go around him for advice from the CA without his approval. Go look at his desk to see where requests might be located. I have no idea if that is still in force.

  • 18 Positive Thinker // Sep 6, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    I really do think its sad that the GOOD that LMAS does do never gets any recognition. More lives are saved. But everyone wants to focus on the negative stuff before anyone wants to see anything positive that the workers at LMAS do.

  • 19 jake // Sep 6, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    That’s a load of horse shit.

    What GOOD is done? Kill rate is still CRAZY high. Few adoptions. Rescue group after rescue group have been shut out. Longtime volunteers shitcanned for asking questions.

    Really, a load of horse shit. Or, to be precise, a load of dog carcasses waiting for the incinerator.

  • 20 Becky // Sep 8, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    With as many animals lovers as their are it’s still unbelievable that most of them aren’t the employees, instead the shelters get the ones that no body else wants. And kicking out the volunteers who are the ones that work their butts off. It’s every where !

google

couk