Legal expert: Explorer report is rare move

Explorer report points out glaring issues with internal investigation
This is an archive photo of Kenneth Betts with youth in the LMPD Explorer Program. (Source: Provided photo)
This is an archive photo of Kenneth Betts with youth in the LMPD Explorer Program. (Source: Provided photo)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It's 90 pages, but a former County Attorney said it represents a tangled web, full of conflicts -- officers investigating officers, a mayor investigating his own office, and the same attorneys representing the city and the officers.

"It sounds like the investigator was thorough, but it was a paid report," Defense Attorney and former County Attorney prosecutor, Leland Hulbert, told Wave 3 News.

He said this type of report is rare.

>> FULL REPORT: LMPD Explorer investigation findings

"You can find what you're looking for in this report," he said.

Like whether there was a cover up. The report said no, but Hulbert said that while there has to be intent for that to be considered, the term is hard to define.

"It'd be difficult to argue that the chief or the police intentionally wanted to cover all this up, but at the same time, they clearly didn't want it all to come to light," he said. "They didn't want a criminal investigation to be continued."

Hulbert said investigations of other institutions have at least some things in common.

"How high did it go, who knew and when did they know," he said.

Hulbert also has trouble with Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad's decision to allow officer Kenneth Betts to resign, even though he had several others in his staff tell him he should be fired, and at least one other officer telling him things should be pursued criminally.

"I've never known anyone to get out of criminal prosecution or a criminal investigation because they've resigned," Hulbert said.

He believes the department's Public Integrity Unit (PIU) should be reformed to include outside people, so officers aren't tasked with investigating themselves.

Hulbert said Conrad, the department Professional Standards Unit and the PIU all have things to worry about based on the report.

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