Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer on Friday asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation to examine allegations of sexual abuse within the Louisville Metro Police Department.
Fischer also announced the hiring of former U.S. Attorney Kerry B. Harvey to conduct a parallel inquiry on behalf of the city, according to a news release and video posted to Fischer’s Facebook page.
A civil lawsuit accuses two officers of raping a young man during a two-year span as he participated in the department’s Explorer program. The program caters to young people interested in a career in law enforcement.
LMPD has a pending criminal investigation into the allegations. Details of Explorer Program abuse and an alleged cover up were disclosed in the pending civil suit. Spokespersons for LMPD and the FBI did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
On Friday, mayoral spokesman Chris Poynter said Fischer first learned of the allegations in October 2016, but added that the mayor “didn’t know the full extent until the lawsuit was filed.”
Harvey signed a contract Friday guaranteeing him a rate of $275 an hour — with a $50,000 cap, according to The Courier-Journal. He formally served as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, overseeing investigations of former state Personnel Cabinet secretary Tim Longmeyer and state agriculture commissioner Richie Farmer.
Harvey, in a release, said the allegations if proven to be true, represent “unacceptable conduct involving children.”
“The citizens of Louisville deserve to know what happened,” he said.
The Courier-Journal first reported the allegations after a lawsuit was filed in Jefferson Circuit Court by Louisville Metro Council president David Yates, who represents the alleged victim.
Yates said police officials conspired to conceal the allegations.
A group of Louisville Metro Council members are also calling for the FBI to conduct an independent criminal investigation into the allegations.
Councilman David James, chair of the council’s public safety committee, said Thursday such an investigation is necessary to ensure transparency and uphold the integrity of the city’s police department.