Tears and politics: Whistleblower trial continues with accusations

Politics and tears as whistleblower trial continues
Published: Aug. 10, 2018 at 7:29 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2018 at 9:11 PM EDT
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Chief Steve Conrad (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Chief Steve Conrad (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Former LMPD Assistant Chief Kim Kraeszig (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Former LMPD Assistant Chief Kim Kraeszig (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A demoted Louisville Metro Police Department major who is at the center of a whistleblower lawsuit was brought to tears by the testimony of a fellow officer.

The day also brought testimony from Louisville Metro Council President David James in which he told jurors about a fiery encounter with Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. During that meeting, James said Fischer accused a group of council members of "helping the Republicans" if they didn't support LMPD Chief Steve Conrad.

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James then proceeded to give examples to the jury in which he believes Conrad has lied. That was the same information he previously presented to Fischer at Fischer's request.

James was again accused by the city attorney as helping Harper's attorney, Thomas Clay win the case. James refuted the claim by stating his motivation stems from his lack of confidence in the Chief, not the case.

City attorneys also brought into question a recorded tape of a meeting involving Fischer. In the tape, Fischer becomes agitated with council members when they expressed their concern over Harper's demotion.

Several officers were also called to the witness stand, including Officer Kelly Lee. She testified to how much the troops "loved" Harper and were devastated when he was demoted. Lee described it as a "death" for the troops. Lee said they would "walk through hell" for Harper. That is moved the demoted officer to tears.

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Other testimony included that of another officer who says he never said Harper told officers to not do their job, as Conrad testified. He said his statements as portrayed by the former LMPD Assistant Chief Kim Kraeszig, who is the current Bardstown police chief, and by Conrad were completely inaccurate.

A third officer, Alejandro Cabrerra, testified he overheard a conversation between the mayor and Kraeszig in which he asked her to get Harper "on the team." Cabrerra testified he feels intimated and fearful he will be retaliated against.

Louisville Metro Council woman, Cheri Bryant Hamilton took the stand as the final witness of the day.

Hamilton testified Harper was instrumental in her district, bringing down crime and making her community feel safe again. She spoke of how Harper was well liked by residents and how he was transparent about crime with council members. Hamilton was also concerned that other officers will not ever be able to speak up for fear of getting in trouble by the Chief's office.

Council woman Jessica Green is expected to testify Monday morning.

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