Yesterday we linked to the LEO Weekly story about Metro Council Majority Caucus Director Kenya McGruder. She “directed” Barack Obama’s non-existent campaign in Kentucky and was brought to Louisville by Carolyn Tandy and her husband, now-Metro Council President David Tandy, during Eleanor Jordan’s congressional race in 2000. They’ve been joined at the hip ever since.
LEO wrote about McGruder receiving a mysterious five-day suspension from the personnel committee instead of getting fired.
But what’d she do that was so mysterious and unworthy of being mentioned in public? Well, it’s not so much what she did.
Multiple Metro Councilcritters tell us that the Tandys were using McGruder to babysit their children while she was supposed to be conducting official Metro Council business. Steve Henry-style babysitting. Among other things. And they let her keep her job.
We emailed Tandy’s Legislative Aide, Rob Haynes, requesting a comment about this corrupt little situation. We were first promised a written statement within an hour, but Tandy wanted to talk on the phone about it. Fortunately, we don’t have much time today (personal reasons/obligations) and again requested a statement. Note: Normally, we’d be happy to record a telephone conversation and would jump at the chance.
Here’s what I received, two hours later:
I am only aware of one instance when David’s daughter, Kennedy, was with Kenya at City Hall. I was told that Kenya’s timesheet reflected that she was off the clock.
If there are other instances, that would be news to me.
Our Metro Council sources stand by their statements about McGruder. They have no reason to be dishonest and all three of them appear to genuinely like the Caucus Director.
Should be noted that I like David Tandy and think he would make a great legislator and great mayor — if he’d just take a risk and maybe stop walking on eggshells. He has a great personality, he’s genuinely nice, he has a beautiful family and hasn’t tried to get rich off the public yet.
But dragging things out and playing coy with this McGruder situation does nothing but lead us (and probably our readers) to believe he could be abusing his position as an elected official and taking advantage of taxpayers. Primarily because it doesn’t take several hours to formulate a denial if you’re not trying to cover something up.
We pressed again for an explanation and here’s what we received three hours later:
With regard to personnel matters involving Metro Government employees, I am prohibited from discussing those matters publicly.
As for any rumors that suggest the reasons for Ms. McGruder being suspended are due to her attending to my daughter while on government time, those rumors are false.
Dueling statements? It’s a little more than rumor when actual council members share the info. And Rob Haynes’ earlier statement admits that McGruder was indeed babysitting at City Hall, saying he “was told” she was off the clock.
Creative wording? Tandy avoided answering our question about whether or not McGruder had been a babysitter on government time. We never asked, not once, if that was why she was suspended.
Here’s what we asked:
Care to provide an on-the-record comment about the Kenya McGruder situation?
Here’s what I know: Multiple Metro Council members tell me that Kenya was babysitting the Tandy children while she was supposed to be conducting Caucus business. Specifically, she was used as a personal babysitter by Metro Council President David Tandy and his wife, Carolyn (also a government employee), paid for with our tax dollars. Steve Henry-style babysitting.
Comment? Denial? Non-denial?
Make of it what you will, ladies. We’re not buying it. Where there’s smoke there’s fire.
P.S. Haynes told me he needed extra time to explain everything, that it took too long to write everything out. And then that’s what we got. Again, something doesn’t smell quite right and it’s not us.