LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Metro Council Government Oversight and Audit Committee has authorized an investigation into Mayor Greg Fischer’s administration.
The scope of the investigation will be broad, focusing on the protests centered on the March shooting of former Louisville EMT Breonna Taylor.
“The protests and how they’ve been handled and the decision making and the policies and procedures and the omissions, those are all things this body wants to know," Councilmember Brent Ackerson, District 26, said.
The committee agreed it would first ask current interim LMPD Chief Robert Schroeder to address the council at its next meeting in two weeks.
It also plans to ask former LMPD Chief Steve Conrad and Chief of Public Services Amy Hess to also speak at some point.
"The question for us is things that maybe don’t rise to the level of criminal prosecution but give us great pause," Ackerson said.
While the council does have subpoena power, it decided not to issue any subpoenas right now, despite debating the topic extensively. Instead, it may put Schroeder or Conrad under oath.
"They’ll be put under oath and that adds a level of pressure, a level of certainty for the public that the answers they give will be true, will be factual, and they can’t hide behind any political spin," Councilman Anthony Piagentini, District 19, said.
Several councilmembers took issue with the precedent it sets issuing subpoenas before first asking for testimony.
Other councilmembers were concerned the council's investigation would impede on the current attorney general or FBI investigations into Breonna Taylor's death.
"I would be horrified if this committee did something unintentionally that ultimately produced a situation where it compromised the attorney general for example's ability to build a case for indictments," Barbara Sexton Smith, District 4, said.
In a response before the committee's vote, Mayor Greg Fischer released a statement.
“I’m not clear on why Council would need to issue subpoenas, since we have never declined to make Metro employees available for council and committee meetings, nor declined to provide any data that we’re able to provide,” the Mayor said, adding that the threat of subpoena is just unnecessary. “All Council has to do is ask, and we’ll provide what we’re able to release.”
“I understand that people are impatient for answers in these cases. I am as well. But it’s important that we do nothing to jeopardize these investigations,” he said. “And I know the majority of Council feel the same.”