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Prosecutor is suspended from his job, allegedly for yelling at PD and forcing her from room

Posted Feb 14, 2014 10:22 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A prosecutor in Louisville, Ky., has been suspended from his job without pay for 30 days, allegedly because he yelled at a public defender and “compelled” her to leave a room.

Robert Fleck, a DUI division chief with the Jefferson County Attorney’s office, was suspended until March 13 and ordered to submit to a psychological assessment for “anger/stress related conditions,” report WDRB, WLKY and the Louisville Courier-Journal. A suspension agreement cites the public defender incident, as well as a threat to hold the clerk’s office in contempt of court for slow production of records.

The media obtained records in the case under the Kentucky Open Records Act. The suspension agreement says Fleck will be fired if there is another incident.

The Courier-Journal was unable to reach Fleck for comment because he has an unlisted number. Julie Lott Hardesty, first assistant in the Jefferson County Attorney’s office, told the publications that Fleck is a committed and talented prosecutor who has done a lot of good work. Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell wanted to give Fleck one last chance to change his behavior, Hardesty told the Courier-Journal.

Public defender Kelly Parry described the alleged Jan. 29 incident in a memo to the County Attorney’s office. She said Fleck accused her of “prosecutor shopping” in front of a client and threatened to file a bar complaint against her. When she complained, Parry alleges, Fleck said, “----you, ----you” and “get the ----out of my conference room,” according to the Courier-Journal account.

She says she was standing in the doorway when Fleck approached, telling her he would help her out. “He then pushed the door closed and pushed me out with it,” Parry claimed.

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