Fischer response to dog case leaves Metro Council members 'baffl - News, Weather & Sports

Fischer response to dog case leaves Metro Council members 'baffled'

Mayor Greg Fischer (Source: Steven Richard, WAVE 3 News) Mayor Greg Fischer (Source: Steven Richard, WAVE 3 News)
Margaret Brosko (Source: WAVE 3 News Archives) Margaret Brosko (Source: WAVE 3 News Archives)
Rebecca Eaves (Source: Steven Richard, WAVE 3 News) Rebecca Eaves (Source: Steven Richard, WAVE 3 News)
Kathryn Callahan (Source: Steven Richard, WAVE 3 News) Kathryn Callahan (Source: Steven Richard, WAVE 3 News)
Kellie Watson (Source: Steven Richard, WAVE 3 News) Kellie Watson (Source: Steven Richard, WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - 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.

Former Louisville Metro Animal Services employee Heather Adkins has accused Margaret Brosko, the one-time LMAS spokeswoman who has since transferred to Fischer's office, of taking donation money meant for a sick dog named Sadie and using it for another dog.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Former LMAS employee accused of negligence

At Fischer's request, Louisville Metro Police are probing to see if criminal laws were broken. Metro Council members have formed their own investigative committee and, at the first meeting Wednesday, said they were frustrated by a lack of information from the Fischer administration.

"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.”

Sadie, a pit bull mix, had to be euthanized in March after her condition became grave. Adkins has said she agreed to foster Sadie while waiting for donation money to cover needed surgery.

Members of the Arrow Fund, a Louisville non-profit that helps fund emergency care for mistreated animals, said at the meeting that Sadie was in critical condition when Adkins asked them for help.

“I sat with Sadie and I told (the people about to euthanize her), 'please come here and do this now,'" said Rebecca Eaves, the group's president. "It was that bad. She was in that bad of shape."

Eaves and Kathryn Callahan, an Arrow Fund board member, said they didn't know whether there was neglect in the case, but were pleased that police and Metro Council were looking into it.

"The fact that the Arrow Fund was not contacted until the very end indicates that something else needs to be investigated," Callahan said.

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.

Metro Animal Services has been without a director for more than a year, and has faced scrutiny in the past for mismanagement.

The committee has scheduled another meeting for the week of Sept. 8.

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