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Metro Newsroom

Metro Government to sue NexStep over use of grant money for sex offenders

Monday November 3, 2008

For Immediate release:
Majority Caucus
Louisville Metro Council
Contact: Tony Hyatt 574-4137/526-3622

In the summer of this year, Councilman Rick Blackwell (D-12) became aware that several apartments along Hackel Drive were housing registered sex offenders. Blackwell immediately asked the Jefferson County Attorney’s office to look into possible housing violations with these sex offenders.

In late August it was discovered that NexStep to Independence, Inc had been given a $25,000 grant from the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government to be used for salaries, operating expenses and assistance to clients.

The financial assistance to clients was to be used for rent, personal items, utilities and transportation. Under the terms of the grant agreement potential clients for NexStep would be screened and could not have a prior history of violent crimes, a history of sexual offenses, or any psychiatric problems.

“NexStep is clearly violating the terms of their grant agreement,” says Blackwell. “It is my hope that when this money is returned these residents will have to find more appropriate places to live.”

In light of the grant violations, the County Attorney’s Office sent a letter to the NexStep program declaring all monies by returned by October 15th. To date, NexStep has not responded.

“Since NexStep has not complied with our request, we filed a lawsuit against them last Friday,” said Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell.

“My office will continue to monitor this situation and we will make sure the grant money is returned to be used for its original intentions,” said Blackwell.

For more information, contact Councilman Blackwell’s office at 574-1112.

Rick Blackwell (D) 12