LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
In a interview at city hall Friday, London Mayor Troy Rudder said he stands by his claim the city is not in violation of ethics policies in regards to a business relationship with London Radio Service Inc., owned by London Police Chief Stewart Walker.
According to a report by WLEX 18, since 2009, as far back as records have been kept, the city has purchased more than $90,000 worth of radio equipment from Walker’s business, while also paying his salary as a lieutenant and, later, chief.
London Radio Service Inc., which sells and services radios and equipment to the London fire department, police department and rescue squad, has no store front. According to secretary of state records, the principal office is a P.O. Box.
Rudder said the business relationship between the city and London Radio Service Inc. does not violate city ethics policies.
The city’s policy prohibits city employees from using or attempting to use “their official position to secure unwarranted privileges or advantages for themselves or others.” It also states employees cannot act in a financial matter “that might reasonably be expected to impair their objectivity or independence of judgment.”
Furthermore, Rudder said, the relationship doesn’t violate state ethics policy.
“Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) 61.252 says it’s not a violation of ethics policy if the contract was ‘entered into before an elected officer filed as a candidate for city office, before an appointed officer was appointed to the office, or before an employee was hired by the city or city agency,’” Rudder said.
Walker confirmed he has been a city employee since 1996, but his company has been in business since 1983.
“I became an official dealer in 1992 and have been honoring government prices ever since,” Walker said.
Walker also stated he complies with ethics policy by disclosing his interest in a business annually.