Layoffs Coming At The Local Sportsiversity?

We hear through the University of Louisville rumor mill that Dr. Kimberly Kempf-Leonard, the new UofL Arts & Sciences dean, has been speaking cryptically about laying people off come January. Allegedly saying things about her knowing who she’ll be able to let go by January.

There’s recently been a reorganization of business unit managers for all of the departments (Chemistry, English, et al) and we hear they’re the likely target. She’s called a meeting of all assistant/associate deans who work under her for early in the month. If they’re the target, it would appear she can’t fire them because of tenure.

But she can cut their dean positions they hold and pull a bunch of their cash.

Will it happen? Let’s see what goes down in a couple weeks.

Fischer Still Downplaying, Running From Report

You know some stations would rather go out of business that credit anyone critical. WDRB can apparently dish it and take it without getting bent out of shape because the adults are maybe in charge again. Also, fun to watch Fischer squirm, isn’t it? [WDRB]

A Louisville Metro Council committee issued a scathing report Wednesday against Mayor Greg Fischer’s administration, citing significant problems at Metro Animal Services, including the staff being guilty of “knowing neglect” that led to the death of the now-celebrated pitbull Sadie. [C-J/AKN]

State Sen. Karen Tallian has tried for years to legalize marijuana. The Democrat from Portage, Ind., has introduced bills that would have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Those efforts have so far failed. [WHAS11]

The Kentucky Supreme Court says a state law setting out procedural rights for police officers accused of misconduct should apply whether the complaints are made by citizens or by police departments. [H-L]

A state tribunal has affirmed the termination of Male High School principal David Mike. [WLKY]

Never in the 30 years since the the Federal Reserve first starting collecting wealth data has the divide between the rich and everyone else been so large, according to a new analysis by the Pew Research Center. [HuffPo]

The Environmental Protection Agency is set to issue its first ever guidelines on the handling and storage of coal ash. [WAVE3]

Obamacare enrollment appears on track to meet administration goals for 2015, with almost 2.5 million people selecting plans on in the first month — including 1 million last week alone. [Politico]

Kentucky was recently ranked as the 47th healthiest state in the U.S. [WFPL]

Don’t believe the hype. As some in media tout how magical Kentucky’s employment statistics are? Here’s the juice from the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet: In November 2014, Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 1,993,607, a decrease of 3,260 individuals compared to the previous month. [Press Release]

In July, Business First published its annual list of the Louisville area’s wealthiest ZIP codes, using data provided to Business First by Esri, a Redlands, Calif.-based research firm. [Business First]

In 1975, Ted Heavrin was a rookie police officer with the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department. [News & Tribune]

Another University of Louisville criminal is going to prison for stealing mountains of cash. It’s like Felner was just the first nut to crack. [C-J/AKN]

Council Overwhelmingly Passes Whistleblower Law

Check out the vote:


Sadie’s Law passed with 100% yes votes.

Seems like only yesterday Greg Fischer’s staffers were telling us it wouldn’t happen, that it was unnecessary, that it was silly.

Fascinating how that worked out.

All because of Sadie. A dog Greg Fischer’s staff neglected and abused, lied about, tried to cover up, used as a motivator for retaliation and unbelievable secrecy.

Won’t even begin to be humble by suggesting I’m not happy to have played a part in bringing this about. But it sure is sad that Mr. Compassion & Transparency had to be taken to task like this.

Everyone needs to give thanks to Council for doing the right thing.

Fischer Administration Excoriated In Council Report

If you missed it last night, the Metro Council released a scathing report about Animal Services and the Fischer Coverup. You’ll want to check it out. Sadiqa Reynolds, Donald Robinson, Margaret Brosko and Fischer himself torn to shreds. And they’re still trying to fight transparency in the matter. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is speaking out once more regarding raising the minimum wage in Louisville. [WDRB]

Several Metro Council members believe a city agency retaliated against an employee earlier this year and hope to vote Thursday to provide more protection for metro government workers. Spoiler alert: Tina is being cagey about this not being a widespread issue. She knows it is. And the paper is continuing to do Chris Poynter favors by attacking a whistleblower. [C-J/AKN]

He’s become the center of a Sheriff’s Office investigation the last seven months, accused of insurance fraud, bribing a witness, official misconduct and abuse of public trust. But Julius Hatfield remains the chief at the Bullitt County Fire Protection District and he’ll continue to get paid when he takes a leave of absence starting Jan. 1, 2015. [WHAS11]

A new study says Kentucky’s public school districts pay workers up to 51 percent more for construction projects because of the state’s prevailing wage law, but a divided panel of lawmakers refused to adopt the report during a contentious meeting Tuesday that could set the tone for the upcoming legislative session. [H-L]

It’s a first-of-its-kind study being launched at the University of Louisville to protect the growing number of kids on behavioral medications. [WLKY]

If there’s one thing from 2014 that will define President Barack Obama’s legacy after he’s left the White House, it’s the number of lifetime judges he put on the federal bench. [HuffPo]

A Louisville Metro Council committee delivered a scathing report of Mayor Greg Fischer on Wednesday, accusing his administration of animal neglect, retaliating against a whistleblower, and a cover up. [WAVE3]

You can add insurance industry subsidies to the list of giveaways being shoved into the massive, last-minute government spending bill Congress is trying to vote on to avert a government shutdown. [Mother Jones]

Declines in state appropriations and negative financial trends have made American universities rely more on alumni and wealthy benefactors for cash donations. So as the University of Louisville tries to rebound from three straight years of financial deficits and slumping net worth, a proposed $6 million infusion from the Charles Koch Foundation and Papa John’s International CEO John Schnatter would appear to be a very welcome gift. [WFPL]

University of Kentucky graduate Mosoka Fallah is among the Ebola fighters in West Africa that has been named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. [UK]

New Albany officials are hoping Toyota will bring a parts distribution center — and more jobs — to the city. [Business First]

The search was on. Then it was off again. Then it was on again. Then it was off. Now it’s on again. The Clarksville Town Council voted 4-3 Monday to hire a town manager by early August 2015, and it was the same four council members who voted to end the search in 2013 that brought the position back. [News & Tribune]

Animal Services Ad-Hoc Cmte Report Released

Louisville Metro Animal Services has been a disaster for years. There’s no denying that. No amount of redecoration will clean that corrupt dump up.

But the last six months have been extra-intense on the Sadie scandal front:

  • Just When You Thought Greg Couldn’t Get Worse [July 8]
  • The LMAS Official-Turned-Fischer-Staffer Scandal Gets Real: Proof Margaret Brosko & Other Metro Officials Are Corrupt & Lack Any Compassion [July 22]
  • Transparency: Fischer Put His Foot In His Mouth [July 23]
  • A Deeper Look At That Fischer/LMAS Coverup [July 24]
  • This Louisville Scandal Impacts The Entire State [July 23]
  • Major LMAS Scandal Update: New Committee [August 19]
  • Sadiqa Reynolds: The Reason LMAS Is A Disaster [August 20]
  • Grit, Determination, Heartbreak And Frustration [August 20]
  • Greg Fischer Begins LMAS Whitewash Phase Two [August 20]
  • Sadiqa Reynolds: Greg Fischer’s Whitewashing, Excuse-Making Machine On The LMAS Front [August 21]
  • Metro Animal Services Hearings Start Today [August 27]
  • Greg Fischer: What Is It You’re Trying To Hide? [August 27]
  • Greg Fischer: Are You Really This Inept? What??? [August 28]
  • LMAS Spot Board Chair Was Arrested For DUI [September 4]
  • Fischer & LMAS Still Working To Hide Public Info [September 8]
  • Greg Fischer Got Caught Again In LMAS Scandal [September 28]
  • Watch Metro Council Take Fischer Folks To Task [September 9]
  • Sadiqa Reynolds Finally Showed Up To Talk [September 11]
  • The Greg Fischer Whitewash Circus Continues [September 19]
  • Dog Appeared On TV With Brosko, Then Just Disappeared, LMAS Withholding Information [September 22]
  • Whistleblower Ordinance To Be Called Sadie’s Law [September 24]
  • Best Animal Services Ad-Hoc Council Meeting Yet [September 25]
  • Ad-Hoc Committee About More Than Animal Services, Definitely About More Than A Dog [September 26]
  • The Problems At LMAS Weren’t All Brosko’s Fault [September 29]
  • Yep, Metro Council Does Have Subpoena Power [October 1]
  • A TL;DR Version Of Ad-Hoc Committee Events [October 2]
  • Greg Fischer Lied On The Joe Elliott Show [October 15]
  • Donald Robinson Has A Fancy New Job [December 16]

All caught up on how everything played out? Cause the Metro Council Ad-Hoc Committee just released its report (of course, Greg Fischer scheduled a 4:15 press conference to interrupt the 4:00 meeting because… of course he did):


Highlights — Conclusions:

5. The Committee through testimony and findings of fact, has determined that there are significant issues in the structure and policies of the LMAS Department, including:

a. Failure to follow donation procedures and account for designated donations.
b. Failure to produce and maintain appropriate records.
c. Lack of clear, defined leadership following the resignation of Director Justin Scally

6. The Committee, through testimony and findings of fact, has determined that there are significant issues in the Executive Branch, regarding policies and structure, including:

a. Failure to provide adequate records upon request, as required by the Kentucky Open Records Act.
b. Failures to properly oversee, investigate, and provide accountability for subordinate departments.
c. Misrepresentation of the findings and actions taken by the Administration, specifically Chief Sadiqa Reynolds, regarding the internal review and timeline of events.
d. Failure to fully observe donations policy and account for designated donations and a need for an improved and clearly defined donations policy Metro-wide.
e. Failure to define a clear leadership structure within the LMAS Department and the resignation of Director Justin Scally.

7. The “Internal Review” performed by Chief Sadiqa Reynolds was inadequate in addressing the issues within the LMAS Department.

a. Based on the foregoing findings of fact, the Committee concludes that by the clear and convincing evidence made available, Chief Reyolds’ investigation was inadequate to conform to established policies. There is a significant and concerning lack of documentation to support that any action was taken to investigate or rectify the allegations regarding the dog Sadie or the employee issues.

8. The allegation that the LMAS Department neglected a pit bull dog named Sadie, by denying immediate care that is required under statute, KRS 525.130.

a. Based on the foregoing findings of fact, the Committee concludes that by the clear and convincing evidence made available, the LMAS Department did knowingly neglect Sadie by failing to provide proper health care for the animal in a timely fashion.

9. The allegation that Ms. Heather Adkins failed to follow LMAS Department policies and provide adequate guardianship of Sadie.

a. Based on the foregoing findings of fact, the Committee concludes that by the clear and convincing evidence made available, that Ms. Adkins acquitted herself in an acceptable manner in an effort to provide proper care for Sadie.
b. The available evidence clearly shows Ms. Adkins repeatedly seeking guidance and assistance from superiors within the LMAS Department, to no avail, and was left with no other alternative than to pursue a separate course of action to seek care for Sadie.

10. The allegation that management of the LMAS Department, specifically Assistant Director Donald Robinson and Senior Manager of Special Initiatives and Communication Margaret Brosko, improperly disciplined an employee – Ms. Heather Adkins- through claims of failure to follow established LMAS policis.

a. Based on the foregoing findings of fact, the Committee concludes that by the clear and convincing evidence made available, the management of the LMAS Department improperly disciplined Ms. Adkins for actions taken in providing care for Sadie.

Yep. Sadiqa Reynolds excoriated. Margaret Brosko guilty. Donald Robinson just as shady. Fischer a liar.

Highlights — Recommendations:

1. That the Mayor’s Office makes a public statement commending the actions of Heather Adkins in regards to how she tried to save “Sadie”.

2. Immediate corrections are made to Heather Adkins Personnel File exonerating her of any wrong doing regarding the situation with “Sadie”.

3. The Mayor’s Office acknowledge that the following statement, taken from a press release on behalf of Mayor Fischer on August 20, 2014 was factually inaccurate:

“Fischer said his team examined allegations surrounding Sadie when they first surfaced earlier this summer and determined that employees did nothing improper.”

Given that only one person conducted the review with merely the individuals in question, it is inconceivable to conclude “employees did nothing improper” as stated within the above mentioned release.

4. The Administration make policy changes to adhere to the Kentucky Open Records Act ensuring Metro Policies are followed and written in accordance with State Law.

5. That the Administration provide ALL documents pertaining to the dog named, “Sadie” to the Animal Services Ad-Hoc Committee.

6. The Administration agrees to make employees Margaret Brosko, Donald Robinson and any other Metro Employee available that is noted within the PIU Investigation or Report of the Metro Auditor to speak to the Animal Services Ad-Hoc Committee once the PIU and Internal Auditor have concluded their investigations into this matter.

7. The Metro Council will create a new Whistleblower Ordinance that shall reflect the State Whistleblower Ordinance and shall give employees the right to either take their complaint to the Metro Ethics Commission or to Circuit Court as prescribed in State Law and establish a means for employees to use the anonymous tip line to provide information on how to move forward with such a concern.

8. That the Metro Council develops policies and procedures in relation to investigatory powers regarding their ability to compel the production of documentation and testimony.

9. Greater oversight of financial accountability and an amended Donation Policy

10. That the Animal Services Ad-Hoc Committee be allowed to extend beyond the end of this year to complete its work regarding testimony from key personnel and the review of the PIU investigation.

Fischer is STILL fighting the Committee and STILL trying to be anything but transparent. Still.

Fischer thought this would be going away but it’s not.

It is imperative that Jim King and the new Council continue this push for accountability.

TL;DR: Greg Fischer is anything but compassionate or transparent and his administration is kinda corrupt.

Following The LMEMS Fun? Here You Go

Do you need a laugh this mid-morning, Louisvillians?

Check out this email blast now-former LMEMS director Neal Richmond sent out last week:

From: Richmond, Dr. Neal
Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2014 1:26 PM
To: EMS-Everyone DL
Subject: Everyone at EMS

To Everyone,

I’m writing to you today to share some news that is, for me, both a little exciting and a little sad. I have accepted a new position and will be leaving LMEMS to join the MedStar Mobile Health system in Ft. Worth, Texas.

I should be clear that I was not looking for a new position when this opportunity came my way. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to lead this agency from its creation, and it’s been so gratifying to see all the great changes we’ve worked together to make on behalf of our patients, our service and our community. But I have worked with the MedStar team in Ft. Worth over the past few years through the implementation of their own nurse triage program that is similar to ours, and we’ve had many discussions about some of the progress they’ve made in the area of alternative care for non-emergent 911 patients as we’ve expanded our own alternate care efforts here. When I was approached about any potential interest I might have in assuming the position of Medical Director there it seemed like a natural transition from the work we’ve already been doing at LMEMS, so it was an opportunity I felt I should consider.

And while I am looking forward to taking on this new challenge, I am also incredibly sad to be leaving a place that I’ve been so lucky to watch grow and change over the past ten years. We’ve come through a lot of adversity together, from the tumultuous early years when I’m sure lots of outside critics figured we’d never make it through intact, to the years when our struggles changed to become more about the direction we wanted our service to take going forward. Today, I am proud to see what we’ve created together – an EMS service where the medicine is top priority, where we’ve tried (and still try) to open career pathways for employees who want to make this their life’s work, where we never shy from a challenge, whether that means lobbying the state to expand the scope of practice or taking on duties that have not traditionally belonged to an ambulance service but that still affect our patients and our daily jobs. We should all take this opportunity to look at the work we’ve done, and be proud that we’ve built this agency together, on our own terms.

It is my greatest wish in my role as your CEO and Medical Director that you keep pushing this service – and the field of out-of-hospital medicine – forward.

It will be up to the Mayor and his staff to determine what comes next organizationally for LMEMS, and I’m sure you’ll hear from them soon about their plans. But regardless of who may fill the office I’m leaving, I hope you will carry on with the important work you’ve been doing. Keep building partnerships in our community, keep seeking out the latest in medical treatments and technologies, keep pushing each other to do better, be better, every single day. What we’ve started here is important, and none of us is more important to the mission than anyone else. So in my absence, I have nothing but the highest expectations of what you will all be able to achieve. And I will always look back fondly on this chance I’ve had to play a role in building something new and special from the ground up, with the help the best EMTs and paramedics in the business.

I wish you all the very best, and I hope that there will be opportunities to keep in touch and work together again.

Sincerely, and with great admiration and respect—N.R.

The best part: his claim he wasn’t searching for a new job. Ha!

You’re welcome.

People Thought Minimum Wage Hike Would Occur?

Sure, raising the minimum wage is the right thing to do in this country. But was anyone really naïve enough to believe that this current Metro Council would be able to pull something like that off? They can’t even handle a simple Metro Animal Services investigation. [WDRB]

Everyone is freaking out about this… The Metropolitan Sewer District board Monday rejected a contract offer by a union that represents about 150 of its workers and said a key provision was illegal under state law. [C-J/AKN]

Clarksville Town Council members discussed adding the position of town manager in a session Monday evening. [WHAS11]

Following the example of Louisville and Nashville, Lexington will soon start a program to help get longtime homeless people off the streets. Earlier this month, the Urban County Council approved a three-year, $750,000 contract for the Hope Center, a homeless shelter in Lexington, to provide housing and case management to 20 people. [H-L]

Clark County’s prosecutor will seek the death penalty against a man who confessed to killing his ex-girlfriend in Jeffersonville. [WLKY]

In a rare show of defiance of the National Rifle Association, the Senate on Monday confirmed Dr. Vivek Murthy to serve as surgeon general of the United States. Murthy’s nomination had been stalled for nearly a year due to comments he made in support of stricter gun laws. [HuffPo]

Another day, another fun Jefferson County Public Schools bus accident. [WAVE3]

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has hired a federal budget expert to join his leadership staff as a policy adviser next year. Jon Burks, who currently works as the House Budget Committee’s policy director, will be responsible for budget and appropriations issues in McConnell’s office. [The Hill]

A tribunal is expected to decide by the end of this week the fate of a Jefferson County Public Schools principal fired in October for “conduct unbecoming of a teacher.” [WFPL]

Despite warnings about abuse, Medicare covered more prescriptions for potent controlled substances in 2012 than it did in 2011. The program’s top prescribers often have faced disciplinary action or criminal charges related to their medical practices. [ProPublica]

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating Porter Bancorp Inc., parent company of PBI Bank, for possible violations of federal law related to false bank entries and banking and securities fraud. [Business First]

A severance benefit written into a schools superintendent’s contract extension could take the spotlight at a public hearing Wednesday. [News & Tribune]

Is That The Sound Of…

Greg Fischer soliciting bids from businesses to run Louisville Metro EMS?

Because we hear entities like Baptist Health have expressed interest.

Sure, just about any business could do a better job than the previous guy running LMEMS. But remember who is in charge: Greg Fischer. He’s the man who allowed Richmond several months to find a new job before “resigning” him, the guy who promoted Margaret Brosko, the guy who promoted Donald Robinson, the guy who continues to cheer on Sadiqa Reynolds, the guy who turned a blind eye when the director of Parks repeatedly drove drunk in city-owned vehicles, the guy who has regularly gone after whistleblowers (like here & here), the man who wanted you to pay more sales taxes so he could give more money to his friends, the guy who got his son off a drug/DUI charge with a citation.

Nothing to see here. Move along.