Council member describes explosive, emotional meeting with Mayor Fischer

Council member describes explosive, emotional meeting with Mayor Fischer

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - An explosive meeting has pinned Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer against a number of Metro Council members.

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Councilman David James described the meeting as intense and emotional and said tempers flared.

"Outrageous," Councilwoman Cindi Fowler, who represents the 14th District told us. "It was hard to sit through," she said. "I was dressed down like I was a fifth grader."

"We were talked to like we were petulant children," Councilwoman Jessica Green, of District 1 said.

The meeting happened Thursday at 10 a.m. in Fischer's conference room, and lasted about 30 minutes. The council members wanted to talk about their discontent with Louisville's Police Chief Steve Conrad.

They also wanted to talk about Lt. Jimmy Harper, whom Conrad recently demoted from his position as the major overseeing the Second Division.

"Removing Jimmy Harper from the community puts my constituents in West Louisville in Jeopardy," Councilman David James told us. He presents District 6.

"He's the reason why were able to get the administration and the Chief to finally last year admit we had a gang problem," Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton told us. "The Mayor says, I'm the Mayor. I make the decisions," she added.

"This was just the straw that broke the camel's back," Fowler said.

Council members who attended the meeting described Fischer defending Conrad. The mayor addressed the meeting during a press conference shortly after it took place.

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"It was a good exchange of views, as they say in diplomatic speak," Fischer said. "What this has to do with is Chief Conrad is our police chief and I support him. He can make any personnel changes that he wants that in his view will make our city a safer city.

"I appreciate hearing other people's opinions. Removing the chief is not going to stop what happens in the city every day."

Countered James: "It was a meeting in which views were exchanged, no meeting of the minds. The mayor was dismissive and disrespectful of the council members and the constituents who are at risk because of the poor leadership of Chief Conrad and the support that he receives from Mayor Fischer."

The members of the council who were present at the meeting included Cheri Bryant-Hamilton, Mary Woolridge, Jessica Green, Cindi Fowler, Barbara Shanklin and David James.

Next Thursday, council members are expected to present a plaque to Harper in appreciation of his service.

There will also be a resolution drafted---for the council to hold a vote of no confidence against Conrad.

The Chief did provide a statement in regards to this story,  "Lieutenant Harper has served our community well for the past twenty-seven years and I welcome his decision to remain at LMPD," Conrad said. "I'm confident he will continue to lead faithfully in his future assignments."

In a letter to the council members, Harper wrote:

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