And some of us in the media thought Metro Councilwoman Judy Green was simply guilty of setting up a sham company in order to pay her relatives with government money. That may be true, but it’s really only a small part of the story with Green. You should check out Phillip Bailey’s excellent reporting in LEO this week, which reveals several embarrassing facts, including:
- Green may have lied about losing tickets to a special event at the Yum! Center, got replacements, then may have arranged for her assistant to use the original lost tickets. The assistant, Andrea Jackson, at first lied about being there. She’s still collecting a paycheck in Green’s office, despite. . .
- Allegedly not knowing that Green and her husband, apparently in desperate financial straits, had taken out credit cards in her name and rung up $25,000 in charges, which prompted a police investigation, after which Jackson acknowledged what had been done and refused to press charges against her boss
- Green has refused to talk with police investigators, and with the media, about these issues.
- Green apparently took a $600 bribe from a store owner in exchange for not stopping a wet-dry vote in her district.
There’s more, but I’ll let you take a look at Bailey’s fine investigative work. Green is certainly guilty of doing something unexplainable with money from last summer’s Green Team fiasco. She defaulted on a loan with Gus Goldsmith, and lost her home. She didn’t pay taxes on her business and property. But she was elected to office because, if you can believe this, people in the district didn’t care.
As Bailey quotes Denise Bentley, her predecessor: “I’m going to be honest: Because of the district that we represented, where everybody feels like they are a paycheck away from poverty, it really was not a news story. I knew a lot of constituents who were struggling, but were still good people, and I don’t think it meant a lot to the community that there were some personal financial issues going on with Judy, because most people in the district are in a bind financially.”
It’s not the most incredible part of the story, but it boggles my mind how voters can put someone in office, and put her in charge of city money, who’s totally irresponsible with her personal finances.
And since Green, when she is talking, is parceling out blame to others or saying she’s not remorseful for her actions, I don’t expect her to resign from the Council, no matter how harsh the criticism. She needs the money from the job. But if fellow Metro Council members don’t take action to remove her from office, shame on them.