Government Oversight Committee welcomes Amicus Curiae brief by transparency expert rebuffing Administration efforts to evade public testimony

August 20, 2020

Louisville –  Councilman Brent Ackerson (D-26), chair of the Louisville Metro Council’s Government Oversight and Audit Committee is issuing the following update to the community on the latest legal fight over the committee’s investigation into the Fischer Administration:

Weeks ago, the Government Oversight and Audit Committee (GOA) requested public testimony by two senior Metro Government employees. Those employees agreed. The Administration changed its mind. GOA used powers granted to it by the General Assembly to try and compel that conversation in a public forum. The Administration sued, trying to hide the facts surrounding critical events in our city that the people of Louisville have a right to know about.

Just yesterday, the Fischer Administration, both their elected officials and unelected bureaucrats, lost a battle to shield their actions and direct spending of taxpayer dollars from the very public they have sworn to serve. After a two-year lawsuit, the details of Louisville’s Amazon HQ2 proposal are finally public record. They took their unaccountability roadshow show all the way to the Kentucky Supreme Court. Mayor Fischer lost his battle to hide from the public yesterday and should lose again according to the same lawyers. Who knows how much more public money was spent to lose that unwinnable fight.

An Amicus Curiae brief written by yesterday’s victorious attorneys was filed today in the Metro Government [Administration] v. Louisville Metro Council action. That brief cites several reasons why the testimony of key public officials should not be able to hide from those who hired them – the citizens of Louisville. Chief among the reasons outlined in the brief is the simple truth that facts are not protected from transparency and accountability under the Open Records Act as the Administration claims.

The GOA is simply seeking the facts – facts that were created by the actions and inaction by individuals who are not only paid with taxpayer dollars, act on behalf of the public with the total control of the use of force and police powers, but who are also are subject to future public support via pension obligations. Government officials should answer questions about what they choose to do and choose not to do for the public in public. That is the whole point of oversight, and oversight is critical to a functioning democracy.

The people of Louisville, the citizens of Kentucky, and many around the world have been yearning for the truth from Metro Government officials at the highest levels. On behalf of the people those public officials swear to serve, the GOA demands answers now and justice as soon as possible. We are committed to seeking the truth. With the help of friends, we will find it.

Please direct questions to Tony Hyatt.