Louisville's council calls on the FBI to investigate LMPD Explorer program

Published: Mar. 16, 2017 at 3:05 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 16, 2017 at 11:46 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
Officer Brandon Wood (Source: LMPD)
Officer Brandon Wood (Source: LMPD)
Former LMPD Officer Kenneth Betts (Source: WAVE 3 News source)
Former LMPD Officer Kenneth Betts (Source: WAVE 3 News source)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Louisville Metro Council members are hoping the FBI will do what the Louisville Metro Police Department did not - get to the bottom on an alleged sex abuse scandal that is rocking the department.

Council confirmed the FBI has launched a preliminary investigation into sex abuse allegations against the Louisville Metro Police Department's Explorer Program. They believe the department failed to investigate its own members after allegations surfaced in 2013.

News & Weather Apps

"You really don't want the people who just screwed up to be investigating themselves," Councilman James Peden said. "It was not the right decision to stop the investigation then."

LMPD officer Brandon Wood and former LMPD officer Kenneth Betts are accused in a civil lawsuit of raping and sexually abusing a teenager in the LMPD Youth Explorer Program while they were working as officer advisers to the Explorers, according to an attorney for the alleged victim, David Yates.

The accuser, now 22 years old, claims the men had sex with him while he was under the age of 18 and while they were in a position of authority, which Yates said constitutes third-degree statutory rape.

Wood remains on desk duty, but in uniform and on the job. Betts, who resigned from LMPD in 2013, one year after being accused of inappropriate behavior with another member of the Explorer Program, remains on the street working as, among other things, a firearms training instructor.

LMPD Major Curtis Flaherty is also named in the lawsuit alleging he covered things up. Flaherty was the commander of the explorer program and the head of the department leading the investigation.

That lawsuit now sealed by the court. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is asking for it to be made public.

"To me it's all about transparency and accountability so I am looking at all kinds of options here," Fischer said.

+ LMPD Explorer investigation turned over to Commonwealth's Attorney's Office
+ Mayor suspends LMPD Explorer Program, wants lawsuit opened
+ 2nd LMPD officer accused of inappropriate behavior in Explorer Program
+ LMPD officer at center of Youth Explorer investigation identified

Accountability is something council members are asking for too, while pointing fingers at the top in command.

"In 2013, the fact that the investigation didn't go forward, that the investigation stopped, that there could have been more victims, that we did not look into, that's something that needs to be looked at," Councilman David James said.

LMPD Chief Steve Conrad's job was also brought into question, but James said the mayor is the one who hires and fires the chief and it's up to him to determine the level of the chief's credibility.

Copyright 2017 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.