Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting

4:28 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

FBI Looking Into Louisville Metro Government, Questioning Council Members

Louisville City Hall
Credit Joseph Lord/WFPL News

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking for potential misconduct in Louisville Metro government, questioning several lawmakers and quizzing others about council activities.

Four Metro council members—all contacted independently—and a council aide confirmed with WFPL and the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting that they had spoken with agents as part of a federal inquiry into Metro government.

FBI agents also attended a Metro Ethics Commission meeting this week and interviewed a local political activist who has filed ethics complaints against two councilmen.

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Local News
2:00 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Southern Indiana Authorities Missed Opportunities to Arrest Richard Hooten Before Teen's Murder

Richard Hooten in 1985
Credit Kentucky Department of Correctins

Richard Carley Hooten had two warrants out for his arrest and a wife who ratted him out to police. Yet for six months, he still evaded capture by Clark County authorities.

Hooten apparently didn’t go far, didn’t run, didn’t hide. The 50-year-old roamed free, worked at a Louisville furniture store, consorted with other women and, by his own admission, even sexually assaulted one of them.

Then on March 2, the serial sex offender with six felony convictions allegedly raped and killed 17-year-old Tara Rose Willenborg in her Clarksville apartment.

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Local News
1:41 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Reporter Kristina Goetz Latest Addition to Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting

Kristina Goetz
Credit Submitted photo

Veteran reporter Kristina Goetz will be the next addition to the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, Louisville Public Media's in-depth journalism unit.

Goetz is a senior reporter for The Arizona Republic in Phoenix. Her past career stops include The Cincinnati Enquirer and The Commercial Appeal in Memphis. She also worked as a research assistant and first-draft editor on a biography of Hillary Clinton by former Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein.

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2:01 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Indiana's Legal System Gave Richard Hooten Many Chances—Then a Teenager Died

Richard Hooten in 1985
Credit Kentucky Department of Corrections

For nearly three decades, Richard Carley Hooten blazed a trail of lawlessness from his hometown of Louisville to Georgia and back.

He bounced in and out of prison, his rap sheet growing conviction by conviction. Rape. Stabbing. Sexual assault. Prison escape. Drug dealing. He did them all.

Back in southern Indiana in early 2009, Hooten resumed his crime spree. Again and again he was offered more chances, from prosecutors and judges, to break the law. Each time, he accepted.

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11:20 am
Wed September 25, 2013

In Kentucky Legislature, Lax Rules Govern Workplace Relationships Despite Long History of Scandal

Kentucky State Capitol
Credit Wikipedia Commons

During the 1990s, the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission’s public image was shaped primarily by the sordid antics of Kent Downey, whose day job there often overlapped with his sideline business promoting golf trips with scantily clad hostesses offering sex for money.

Downey, who was director of House operations prior to being fired in 1996, sometimes drank and caroused at work. He put strippers on the state payroll and adorned his office with pictures of scantily clad women and a small plant with condoms hanging from the branches.

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4:58 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Louisville Schools for At-Risk Students Say JCPS Not Doing Enough to Keep Kids Safe


Leaders from five agencies that serve at-risk children in Louisville say the Jefferson County school district isn't doing enough to ensure there are ample employees to keep students and staff safe at their schools.

Maryhurst, St. Joseph Children’s Home, Boys and Girls Haven, Home of the Innocents and Uspiritus (Brooklawn and Bellewood campuses) all treat children with emotional and behavioral disorders, many of whom are wards of the state or have had traumatic life experiences or unstable homes.

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Local News
4:48 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Third Woman Accuses Rep. John Arnold of Sexual Harassment, Says State Failed to Act

Credit Jonathan Meador/WFPL News

A third Kentucky Statehouse staff member has filed a complaint with the Legislative Ethics Commission, alleging that state Rep. John Arnold touched her inappropriately in 2009 and that a supervisor at the Legislative Research Commission, where she works, failed to act after she reported Arnold’s conduct.

The complaint filed by Gloria Morgan, 55, with the ethics commission on Thursday afternoon accuses Arnold of walking beside her as she left her office, stroking her back and asking her if she was going to “come out and play” that night.

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7:00 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Legislative Research Commission Director: Sexual Harassment Allegations Taken Seriously

Robert Sherman
Credit Legislative Research Commission

The director of the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission says sexual harassment claims are taken seriously by his agency, despite an employee's expressed disappointment of how her allegations against a state legislator were handled.

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10:56 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Kentucky Statehouse Staffers Accuse Rep. John Arnold of Sexual Harassment, Assault

State Rep. John A. Arnold Jr.
Credit Jonathan Meador/WFPL News

Two longtime Kentucky statehouse employees have filed ethics complaints against Democratic state Rep. John A. Arnold Jr., alleging a pattern of sexual assault and harassment dating back to early 2010.

Cassaundra Cooper and Yolanda Costner, in separate complaints, allege Arnold inappropriately touched them and made lewd and vulgar comments in numerous incidents over several years. Arnold  is a veteran legislator from Sturgis.

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Local News
8:30 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting Adds Mark Schaver

Mark Schaver

The latest addition to the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting is Mark Schaver, a veteran Louisville journalist who is specializing in data reporting.

Schaver currently is the editor of The Courier-Journal's digital news team. 

In his new role, Schaver "will use data analysis to mine and scrape public records, unlock information and help tell investigative stories in new and compelling ways," the Center said.

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