Convicted city employee being paid with your tax dollars

From multiple reprimands to felony convictions, one city employee continues to collect a paycheck.
Updated: Oct. 1, 2019 at 6:02 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - From multiple reprimands to felony convictions, one city employee continues to collect a paycheck.

It was one year ago that WAVE 3 News Troubleshooters first reported about a Louisville Code Enforcement officer who entered someone’s house without permission, and in a separate incident was accused of stealing money.

During the past year, taxpayers have paid for Robin Bishop’s salary. He’s remained on the payroll after pleading guilty to several felonies.

Bishop had the power to write people tickets and citations on a number of city ordinances.

But then, there was this.

In October 2018, WAVE 3 News obtained a video from 2015 of Bishop inside a local resident’s home. His personnel file includes documents related to that incident. They state Bishop flashed his computer to a resident and told them it was a warrant. After an investigation, it turns out it wasn’t. Bishop was suspended for 29 days.

That wasn’t all. WAVE 3 Troubleshooters also had gotten wind of a separate investigation, accusing Bishop of stealing thousands of dollars from the Carpenters’ Union.

That was something Bishop denied during the initial WAVE 3 News report. At that time, the City said Bishop would stay on the payroll because the investigation was pending. He was then reassigned to the city’s Solid Waste Department.

WAVE 3 News asked again about his employment after Bishop was indicted for the theft at least $8,400. The City responded that Bishop was innocent until proven guilty.

So when he pleaded guilty on Aug. 29 to a series of felonies, including nine counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument and one count of theft by deception, WAVE 3 News called the City yet again right after the conviction.

This time, there was no answer.

Two weeks after his guilty plea, WAVE 3 News found Bishop pulling up to a re-entry charitable facility in a City truck.

His job now, the union said, is picking up other criminal offenders and supervising them while they work.

“In charge of supervising felons, of which he is one now?” Louisville Metro Council President David James asked. “I don’t have an answer for that.”

A former police officer himself, James said he was floored with the findings. He said he believes Bishop should have been fired after gaining entry into someone’s home without an actual warrant.

He’s not the only one upset. JD Earnst, the union president, told WAVE 3 News he’s genuinely concerned.

“There are members that work with him every day, and those members are the members that he stole from,” Earnst said.

That led Troubleshooters to discover one other surprise, which Earnst had not been made aware of.

During the course of the WAVE 3 investigation, a court order was found among the criminal proceeding documents.

The order, executed in February 2019, mandated that Bishop is to have “no contact with members of Carpenters Local 2501.” Those are the same people who Earnst said have continued to work alongside him, the very people from whom Bishop stole.

“It’s frustrating and uncomfortable,” Earnst said.

The union is now considering a grievance against the City because of what it feels is a violation of that order, while James said he’s getting on the phone, too.

“I’m amazed that he’s still working for the City,” James said.

Bishop’s attorney did not return WAVE 3 News’ calls for comment. Bishop was sentenced to three years of probation through a diversion program. That means if he fulfills the stipulations of the court agreements, the felonies would come off his record.

A spokesperson said the City did not respond to WAVE 3 News’ request for comment about Bishop because of a mix-up. Public Works eventually provided the following statement.

“We were only recently made aware of the court order and are reviewing Mr. Bishop’s status.”

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