Former city staffer allegedly hurled racial slurs at officer during processing for 4th DUI arrest

Adam Younger, son of Jefferson County PVA, no longer coordinating events for Mayor Greg Fischer
Published: Mar. 16, 2021 at 7:07 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - His job was to help coordinate some of Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s biggest events, parties and festivals.

It was a city job Adam Younger obtained despite multiple convictions for driving drunk, and other offenses WAVE 3 News Troubleshooters uncovered.

Younger, the son of Jefferson County Property Valuation Administrator Colleen Younger, is also accused of directing a racial slur at an LMDC corrections officer multiple times while being processed for his fourth DUI arrest, multiple sources confirmed.

WAVE 3 News Troubleshooters reported on March 1 that Younger, 37, had been arrested after police said he crashed his car while driving drunk in downtown Louisville. According to the police report dated Feb. 27, Younger took off on foot when officers arrived, locked the car with a remote key, and tried to take his registration and other documents from the car to prevent officers from verifying its owner.

Multiple sources with knowledge of the situation said that once Younger was apprehended and taken back to LMDC for processing, he began insulting a corrections officer, using racially offensive names. The incident is something his mother apologized for Tuesday.

“Racism in any form by anyone is wrong and unacceptable,” Colleen Younger said. “My 37-year-old son was raised to know the value and worth of all people. As a parent, I am deeply disappointed in my son and I offer my deepest apology to anyone who has been hurt by his words and actions.”

Fischer’s spokeswoman, Jean Porter, said Younger was fired March 1, the same day as the WAVE 3 News report.

Younger’s mother told WAVE 3 News during a recent phone call that the arrest was being handled as a “private family matter” before hanging up. She later called back to add that her son is in treatment for substance abuse.

Younger has been mandated to receive counseling for driving under the influence before, as documented in court records.

WAVE 3 News found criminal records dating back to 2002 when Younger received his first DUI arrest. He pleaded guilty to that charge and driving against traffic on a one-way street, the records said. He also was cited for driving on a suspended license.

That arrest was one of three DUI convictions, two of which happened before he was hired by the city, one during. The city said it’s now reviewing how he was hired.

In 2003, Younger was found sleeping inside of his vehicle parked in a grassy area behind a church. Officers knocked on his window around 7 a.m., and, according to that arrest report, he smelled of alcohol, had gotten sick in the car, and thought he was home. He admitted to drinking alcohol the day before. Younger registered a .066 on a breathalyzer test, under the .08 legal limit. He was charged with alcohol intoxication.

In 2005, he pleaded guilty to his second DUI charge after crashing his vehicle. Seven months later, he was arrested again for driving on a suspended license.

Then, in 2014, Younger pleaded guilty to harassment with physical contact and disorderly conduct after kicking a bouncer and spitting on him in front of police while he was being escorted out of Molly Malone’s, according to records.

In 2019, three years after being hired by the mayor’s office, Younger was stopped after almost hitting an LMPD officer’s car while running a red light. He later pleaded guilty to the DUI charge, his third DUI conviction.

Each time his license was suspended, he violated those orders at least twice, according to court records.

On Feb. 27 of this year, Younger was arrested on a DUI charge for the fourth time, just hours before he allegedly directed the racial insults at the LMDC officer.

WAVE 3 News submitted several open records requests to LMDC for body-camera and surveillance video of that incident. Jail officials denied those requests, citing an open investigation by LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit. That unit investigates criminal matters for city employees. LMDC did not release the videos related to what sources described as “racially hurtful statements” from the most recent arrest last month.

WAVE 3 News also submitted open records requests to LMDC for Younger’s previous DUI arrest in 2019. LMDC initially denied those requests, also citing an open investigation. However, Troubleshooters confirmed that investigation was closed more than two years ago after Younger pleaded guilty in court. Tuesday afternoon, hours before the open records denial would be discussed during Metro Council’s Government Oversight and Accountability Committee meeting, LMDC released the body-camera video.

The 2019 video shows Younger not following instructions to sit down.

“I work for the f***ing mayor,” Younger told the officer, before refusing to take a breathalyzer test, and continuing his verbal assault on the officer. “You’re a f***ing idiot. You’re so f***ing stupid.”

Porter said the city is “now aware of his history” and is reviewing what appears to be an “internal communications error.”

It is unclear if Younger disclosed his previous arrests and convictions during the application process for the city job, or if a background check was ever conducted. WAVE 3 News is waiting for those open records.

According to city policy, the Metro Department of Human Resources should perform a records check on every candidate prior to an offer being made. The results are then evaluated by human resources hiring coordinators and analysts, the city policy states.

Determining factors include the nature of the crime and relationship to the position, the degree of the person’s rehabilitation, the time elapsed since the conviction and the gravity of the offense.

This story will be updated.

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