Women describe alleged abuse at hands of ousted TARC director

Ferdinand Risco stepped down hours after WAVE 3 News report

Women describe alleged abuse at hands of ousted TARC director
TARC transit service operated in Louisville Metro.
TARC transit service operated in Louisville Metro. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - From bullying to unwanted touching and sexual harassment, two women described to WAVE 3 News what they suffered at the hands of TARC’s former director.

For the first time on Monday, two women who WAVE 3 News is not identifying, spoke about their experiences with Ferdinand Risco.

Risco resigned abruptly on Wednesday, just hours after WAVE 3 News broke the story about an investigation into his alleged behavior. He has refused to speak to WAVE 3 News.

One of the women said Risco’s behavior was so blatant that some of the harassment happened out in the open while surrounded by other TARC employees.

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One of the women described Risco inappropriately touching her. She said he would tell her dirty jokes, and constantly talk about his past sexual experiences, while expecting them to respond if they wanted to keep their positions.

They said Risco would “undress” women with his eyes.

"It was clear that your success was contingent upon acquiescing to his advances and entertaining his sexual banter," one woman said.

Other alleged victims have complained that Risco would send pictures of his body parts.

One of the women said she tried to sound the alarm, but was simply encouraged to document the behavior.

Another alleged victim WAVE 3 News spoke with said she was bullied by Risco, who would constantly degrade her in front of others.

“If it wasn’t through emails, it was in close quarters in his office with other staff who heard and seen some of those things,” she said.

Risco used to work for the transportation agency called MARTA in Atlanta until he resigned. WAVE 3 News is working to confirm why he left MARTA.

Risco was later hired by TARC here in Louisville.

Metro Council members have told WAVE 3 News they are working to find out what kind of background check the city performed on Risco, and if there were ever any red flags.

The women have not yet filed a lawsuit.

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