LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - New details have been released in a report about three former LMPD officers sexually abusing children that the city redacted and then fought in court to keep blacked out.
The report was originally released to the public in 2018, with several paragraphs and entire pages blacked out. The report was paid for with public dollars and was commissioned by Mayor Greg Fischer for the sake of “transparency,” he said at the time.
Wave 3 News Troubleshooters submitted an open records request to obtain the unredacted information after a judge ordered the city to release it last week. The order came after the victim’s attorney’s fought for the documents in response to numerous motions filed by the city trying to block their release.
One heavily redacted page now shows that sexual abuse allegations against Kenneth Betts were made years ago, before the main 2013 investigation took place. The documents also show that the Explorer Program supervisor at the time, Curtis Flaherty, knew about it and helped hire the accused perpetrator on the department anyway and even made him a supervisor of the young cadets.
Betts is now in prison on federal child sex abuse charges. Former Officers Brandon Wood and Brad Schuhmann have also been convicted in relation to the case.
The documents state that Flaherty conducted his own investigation back then and wrote up a memo, saying how he interviewed the alleged victims and their parents, but couldn’t prove anything was criminal.
That was an investigation Flaherty later said he forgot about.
The 2002 memo was not part of the later investigation in 2013 which led to Bett’s resignation from the department according to the report. The Chief at the time, Steve Conrad, closed that investigation “by exception” once Betts submitted his letter of resignation. Conrad did not pursue a criminal investigation at the time.
The open records request submitted by WAVE 3 News also included copies of correspondence related to the report, including emails believed to include Conrad, the investigator hired to conduct the report, the Deputy Mayor Ellen Hessen and Fischer. The judge’s order included those documents to be released. WAVE 3 News did not receive a copy and is waiting for the city’s response.
The FBI’s investigation into the Explorer case is still open.