By Mark Vanderhoff | WLKY

Lt. Jimmy Harper

The jury has ruled in favor of LMPD Lt. Jimmy Harper in a whistleblower lawsuit against the department.

Harper sued LMPD, asserting that he was demoted from major to lieutenant in retaliation for reporting mismanagement of overtime funds and disagreeing with the disbandment of special flex platoons.

The jury has recommended Harper receive $300,000 in damages for lost wages and distress.

Harper said his trouble began when he supported two LMPD officers who cleared a woman wrongfully convicted of murder. He stated his superiors came down on him for supporting Baron Morgan and Richard Pearson, two men who had their own whistleblower lawsuits.

LMPD Chief Steve Conrad and a former assistant chief testified last week that Harper was demoted for being argumentative and insubordinate, among other things.

Conrad released a statement following the verdict:

“This is a disappointing verdict. But, as I have said before, I support the decisions of the court and I thank the jury for their work. Today, the jury ruled against us. Nevertheless, I will not apologize for my actions, because I believe they were in the best interest of the department and the city. Through the reorganization of the department, which included implementing a full-time SWAT team, increasing the size of our Narcotics Unit, and devoting overtime patrols in the 1st, 2nd, and 4th divisions, we have made a significant impact on violent crime in this community.

I want to make sure that the members of this community understand that I am your police chief. And regardless of what is in the news, know that the men and women of my department come to work each and every day and put their lives on the line to make this city a safer place. I ask that you continue to support my officers and this department, and join us as we continue to do our part in making Louisville a stronger, safer city.”

Mayor Greg Fischer also released a statement:

“I appreciate the jury’s consideration in this case, and we will defer to the County Attorney’s office on any next steps. It’s important to remember that the changes Chief Conrad made last year are showing positive results — overall crime is down 7 percent, violent crime is down 9 percent, and homicides are down 30 percent. As we move forward, I again urge everyone to continue supporting the women and men of LMPD as they do the daily work of making our city an even safer place.”