Prosecutor is fired after his apology for alleged flippant remarks is found to be lacking

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An assistant county attorney in Kentucky was fired on Monday after he failed to sufficiently apologize for alleged inappropriate and flippant remarks about gays, immigrants and the disabled.

The assistant prosecutor, Karl Price, was offered a chance to apologize and keep his job with the Jefferson County Attorney’s office, given his 25 years of satisfactory work as a prosecutor, after his remarks came to light. He flubbed the opportunity when he told County Attorney Mike O’Connell in a July 17 letter that he apologized “if I have offended anyone.” The Courier-Journal, WHAS11, WDRB and Inside Louisville have stories; the New York Daily News notes some of the coverage.

Price added in his letter that he didn’t have a biased bone in his body, and he was being treated more harshly than other prosecutors.

O’Connell said in Price’s July 21 termination letter that the proffered apology “is not an apology at all. It is a hollow gesture and certainly not an unconditional apology.”

Price’s problems began when he wrote a letter in a contract dispute in his private practice to lawyers for Korean-Americans who owned a martial arts academy. The letter, published by Kentucky Trial Review, referred to the clients as “greedy foreigners” and said they must be “relying on some ancient Asian principle” by refusing to agree on a settlement figure, according to prior coverage by Insider Louisville.

The Courier Journal followed with a story about controversial remarks Price had made in court as an assistant county attorney. Price’s superiors reviewed the record and alleged:

• At an arraignment of a black defendant who was caught running away from police, Price said: “I thought you black guys could run, but you never get away from police.” (Price himself is black.)

• In a case in which the defendant was charged with receiving stolen property, defense counsel sought school release. Price interjected, “Where do you go to school? At a pawn shop?”

• In a case involving a person using a walker who was wanted on charges in Hardin County, Price said the defendant should “push that thing down to Hardin.”

• In a same-sex domestic matter, the judge referred to “the lady who this allegedly happened with.” Price responded, “She didn’t say it was a lady. She said it was her wife.”

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