Saturday, July 05, 2008

WLEX spiked damaging Newberry, Isaac story

Lexington's NBC television affiliate WLEX-18 is sitting on a story about Mayor Jim Newberry and former Mayor Teresa Isaac repeatedly attacking whistleblower Cpl. John Vest since Vest disclosed in 2006 he had assisted a federal investigation of inmate abuse while serving as an employee of the Fayette County Detention Center.

In sworn testimony, Newberry admitted speaking to Vest on multiple occasions about problems at the jail, doing nothing about the jail situation for almost a year and a half into his administration, and signing an order to fire Vest. Isaac made inflammatory comments about Vest after the FBI raided FCDC in the fall of 2006 and sparked renewed abuse of inmates when she was quoted in the Lexington Herald Leader saying "I've reviewed the same records they've reviewed, there's absolutely nothing in there that would amount to a civil rights violation and I've been a civil rights attorney for 25 years so I think I would know."

Isaac later admitted under oath that she hadn't actually seen the same records as federal investigators.

A federal grand jury in Covington indicted five FCDC officers on June 12 for excessive use of force against inmates and for conspiring to cover up their actions. Vest is suing the city of Lexington as well as Isaac and Newberry for the government's treatment of him in the scandal.