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Mark Murphy editorial cartoon from Courier Journal depicting LMPD chief candidates with identities hidden

Mayor Craig Greenberg’s belated defense of his decision to withhold the names of the unsuccessful finalists for the position of Louisville Metro Police Department Chief is no defense at all. 

It is the same specious rationale advanced by his staff as the controversy unfolded. 

“At a news conference announcing Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel as LMPD’s permanent chief on Thursday,” Courier Journal reporters Eleanor McCrary and Josh Wood write, "Greenberg again kept the identities of candidates secret, pointing to the potential negative ramifications unsuccessful job seekers could face.

"“When you tell your boss that you’re applying for a new job, that immediately changes your situation, your job security, your relationship with the community that you serve and your boss,” he said. “And also — for the individuals who are looking to become a chief of police in Louisville or another city, as names are publicly released and you’re passed over for positions, that inhibits your ability to get the next job.

"'So the advice that we had was: If you truly want to get the best possible candidates, then this is the direction to go,' he added. 'And that’s in large part one of the reasons why we did that.'"…

"But in the firm’s pitch to the city — which was included alongside a contract between the city and the search firm — the company recommended naming finalists, according to the documents obtained through an open records request by The Courier Journal," the reporters write. 

Greenberg's defense thus consists of a failed attempt to deflect responsibility for his choice to conduct a secret search on the paid search firm's "recommendation" and a regurgitation of the arguments his staff previously made. 

Once again, he entirely ignored the competing public interest in an open process and the disclosure of the finalists' names -- a public interest that is strongly substantiated given LMPD's appalling history and the failed secret searches of its recent past. 

He disregarded multiple entreaties and yielded to bad legal advice.……

In the final analysis Greenberg violated his transparency pledge on a faulty legal pretext and at the expense of the public’s trust.…

The fault, Mayor Greenberg, is not in the law but in the choices you made.


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