FOP members cast votes on take home car settlement
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The ongoing battle between the Louisville Mayor's office and the Metro Police union over take home cars could be soon at an end. As we first reported Mayor Greg Fischer and FOP leaders reached a deal last week. Now it is up to union members to vote.
Fischer's predecessor, Jerry Abramson, began collecting take home car fees back in 2008 to help ease the city's budget shortfall, but the FOP said that change should have been negotiated, and Metro Council Member and former police officer David James agrees.
"The law is very clear that it should be something that is negotiated and Mayor Fischer recognizes that and that's what he did," said James.
Back in 2009, an appeals court judge ordered the $900,000 collected frozen, while a deal was worked out.
James was at Tuesday's FOP meeting and says that the proposed settlement is fair.
It includes officers getting their money back, and no future take home car fees, unless officers use their cars for off duty work, then the fee is based on gas prices.
James says when officers take home their patrol cars, it's the citizens that benefit. "Louisville doesn't have enough police officers, so the majority of the police cars that you often see are off duty officers, so that reduces crime."
This could soon be another item Mayor Fischer can cross off his to-do-list. Since his time in office he has already tackled other city issues, like a settlement with developer Todd Blue over the Whiskey Row project, a probe of Metro Animal Services, and paying more than 120 retired firefighters back overtime pay, following a nine year court battle.
"He has done an outstanding job thus far, dealing with the employees and the things that were left behind with the last administration," said James.
The FOP and the mayor's office are not commenting on the union's vote outcome on Tuesday. WAVE 3 expects to learn much more on Wednesday after both sides meet again.
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