One day before outgoing interim Louisville Metro Police Chief Robert Schroeder was set to testify before Metro Council as part of an investigation into Mayor Greg Fischer’s administration, Schroeder’s attorney asked the court to delay the chief’s testimony — again.
Last week, Jefferson County Circuit Judge Audra Eckerle ruled Schroeder and Public Safety Chief Amy Hess could not push back their testimony before the Metro Council government oversight committee.
The committee is investigating the administration’s decisions surrounding the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor, subsequent protests and LMPD’s participation in the operation that resulted in the National Guard shooting and killing David McAtee. Council members said they plan to focus the early part of the investigation on the official response to protests.
But on Tuesday, Attorney Joseph Klausing argued Eckerle erred in her ruling, and asked the court to revisit its decision before compelling Schroeder to testify.
“Because the order does not specifically grant or deny temporary injunctive relief to Chief Schroeder, staying the enforcement of the order is warranted until a subsequent order is entered, which clarifies his rights and statutory protections with respect to compelled public testimony before the Committee,” he wrote in the motion.
Klausing argued Schroeder’s public testimony before the committee would legally damage his ability to defend himself in a separate federal civil rights lawsuit. He did not immediately return a request for comment.
Metro Council President David James (D-6) said he is disheartened by Schroeder’s latest attempt to avoid testifying.
“I’m disappointed that Chief Schroeder has decided to fight the subpoena to come tell the Metro Council and citizens about what did or didn’t happen with their government,” James said in a text message to WFPL.
Eckerle wrote last week that that testifying in a matter of weeks versus months would not constitute injury.
“This fact is especially true where, as in this case, the anticipated testimony will address past facts, and not future strategies,” she wrote in the ruling.
Both Schroeder and Hess first declined to speak under oath at a Metro Council hearing in August.
Hess has since said she is willing to testify in open session.