Insider Louisville.A Korean American family called “greedy foreigners” by an Assistant Jefferson County Attorney in Louisville is attacking the discipline he received from the county as “appalling and insulting,” reports the
Prosecutor Karl Price made his controversial remarks first in a letter to the owners of Hwang Martial Arts Academy and then in comments to the Insider Louisville.
In the letter, Price wrote “This is a case of greedy foreigners who simply did not understand contractual principles…these foreigners refuse to pay relying on some ancient Asian principle I suppose.”
The Hwangs are U.S. citizens.
“I was just absolutely appalled,” said Mimi Hwang, the daughter of the Academy’s owners. “And it’s funny, my parents and myself have been U.S. citizens for over 10 years. And he’s calling us foreigners. It’s so crazy to me that somebody would stoop that low. I don’t know if he was just trying to get a reaction out of us.”
When questioned by reporters from the Insider Louisville, Price said “I do not think that that was derogatory. I thought that that was an appropriate reference to them, because I don’t know them to be American citizens. … Some of those individuals (at Hwang’s) may be illegal aliens. I don’t know. My clients said that the individual they dealt with had some broken English. Now that doesn’t necessarily make them a foreigner, I understand that. But based on the information we had, no, I do not believe that that was insensitive to refer to them as that.”
The comments from Price were part of a case he took as a private practice attorney separate from his duties as a county prosecutor. The County Attorney has disciplined Price with a letter of reprimand and ordered him to undergo sensitivity training. Mike O’Connell accused Price of violating the rules of professional conduct of the American Bar Association and stated “although you made these comments in context with your civil practice, they reflect poorly on you and this office.”
The punishment received by Price did not appease the Hwangs. In a statement, Mimi Hwang wrote ” I find the minimal discipline imposed upon Mr. Price to be both appalling and insulting.”