Former police major sues LMPD after being demoted to lieutenant, reassigned

Published: Jun. 19, 2017 at 5:09 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 19, 2017 at 7:38 PM EDT
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Chief Steve Conrad (Source: Michael Williams, WAVE 3 News)
Chief Steve Conrad (Source: Michael Williams, WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A former LMPD division commander who was recently demoted by Chief Conrad is suing the police department.

Jimmy Harper filed a lawsuit on Monday, claiming he was demoted and retaliated against for questioning staffing and funding decisions made by the chief.

Harper was removed from his post as Second Division Commander in a restructuring move on May 25. He was also demoted from major to lieutenant and reassigned to the River Patrol.

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Harper claims Chief Conrad gave him an ultimatum to take early retirement or accept the demotion.

The lawsuit states the demand was given after a series of events in which Harper expressed his disapproval of dissolving the department's FLEX unit to Mayor Greg Fischer, provided intel about gang activity to Metro Councilman David James and criticized the rate of spending for Violent Crime Reduction funds.

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Harper is seeking compensation for loss of income, embarrassment, humiliation and mental anguish.

"I can tell you one thing we're after," Harper's attorney Thomas Clay said during a press conference on Monday. "We're after accountability for the chief of police to have to answer some questions. And I, frankly, am getting a little bit weary of the standard response we get out of Louisville Metro Police that we can't comment on pending litigation. I think it's time the community had an explanation about why Major Harper was demoted, a truthful explanation."

Harper's lawsuit claims Chief Conrad violated the state's whistleblower protection laws.

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