Mayor Fischer addresses future of TARC following chief’s resignation

Ferdinand Risco quit Wednesday following WAVE 3 News report about possible sexual misconduct

Mayor Fischer addresses future of TARC following chief’s resignation

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer spoke to reporters for the first time on-camera Thursday about the resignation of TARC Executive Director Ferdinand Risco this week.

WAVE 3 News was first to report allegations of sexual misconduct against Risco from several women.

A special-called TARC Board meeting was scheduled for Thursday afternoon to address the resignation.

On social media, the Greater Louisville Central Labor Council laid out what it wants to see moving forward. The group called on the city to replace Risco with someone similar to previous TARC Director Barry Barker.

Metro Council President David James said he met with Deputy Mayor Ellen Hesen on Wednesday after he learned of the allegations. He said he’s happy the mayor took immediate action, resulting in Risco’s resignation.

“Anytime allegations are made, we investigate them very quickly,” Fischer said. “So, we worked in conjunction with the county attorney to hire an independent person to look into the allegations of misconduct.”

Attorney Thomas Clay, who wrote a letter to Hesen detailing the claims of misconduct on behalf of the alleged victims, said the investigation had been going on for about a week before WAVE 3 News published its story just hours before Risco’s resignation.

Some are critical of the mayor, though. Councilman Anthony Piagentini said the issues at TARC further reinforce an increasing pattern of city mismanagement leading to liability. ​He said other examples include the LMPD Explorer scandal and a recent overtime case.​

Piagentini and James said the Metro Council Government Oversight Committee likely will investigate what happened in hopes of preventing it from happening again.

Fischer said he’s working to fill the vacant position.

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“Public transportation, obviously, is super critical to our community,” he said. “That will keep going on. We’ll be announcing an interim director as well. The employees of TARC do a good job day in and day out.”

Clay said Wednesday that the main objective of the women making the allegations was to remove Risco from his position. He is not sure if a lawsuit will be filed.

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