Butler still has questions over KLEFPF, says audit should help protect police training dollars

10/05/2016 03:36 PM

After pushing for an audit into a police and firefighter incentive training fund, Rep. Denny Butler, R-Louisville, finally got his answers this month, but with it comes more questions.

Butler, who changed his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican after being blocked in his attempts to provoke an audit of the Kentucky Law Enforcement Foundation Program Fund and Kentucky Firefighter Foundation Program Fund, which pay police and firefighters annual training incentive pay, is now calling for a criminal investigation.

“I think it needs to be investigated criminally,” Butler said in an interview with Pure Politics. “There were too many folks that didn’t want the audit, and you have to go back to the original request of — we’re collecting tax dollars in a restricted fund for policeman, and policeman aren’t getting the benefit for 15 years.”

“So, where’s the money?”

Auditor Mike Harmon’s report of findings showed a surcharge on insurance policies rose from 1.5 percent to 1.8 percent in 2010, but there was no increase in the incentive pay to law enforcement officers.

That increase in taxation without an increase in incentive pay, Butler said sparked his interest in determining what was going on with the fund once he entered office and attempted to increase the dollars given to police and firefighters.

Until this year the KLEFPF fund had never been audited, and Butler became concerned something was going awry when House leadership rejected legislation he proposed in 2015 to force an audit and increase incentive pay.

In explaining his reasoning to leave the Democratic Party in late 2015, Butler said he “felt like I was put in a position where I had to choose either transparency for our government or protect a party.”

“I don’t think the folks in my district elected me to protect a political party,” he said.

Watch the full interview with Butler on KLEFPF below.

Butler faces Democratic candidate McKenzie Cantrell in the Nov. 8 election, watch Pure Politics this week for an interview with Cantrell and more from Butler at 7pm and 11:30pm on cn|2.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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