LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Audubon Park police chief is suddenly out of a job after two years in charge. It's the latest big crisis for one of Jefferson County's smallest cities.
The city of Audubon Park has been wrestling with a budget crisis. Now, its police chief is gone. And no one is saying why.
"Mr. Cox is no longer with the Audubon Park Police Dept. or an employee of Audubon Park," said Jim Curtis, Audubon Park's acting police chief.
The 22-year veteran of the force will only say the departure of Chief Jeffrey Cox has nothing to do with the city's ongoing budget woes.
"It was not a budgetary matter. No sir," said Curtis.
Curtis inherits a department of four full-time and four part-time officers with serious morale issues.
The city has cut retirement and health benefits because of a budget shortfall.
The department is also facing a lawsuit by a former officer who claims he was wrongfully fired.
"I'm just going to tell the officers to keep doing what they do. We've got a fine group of officers now that I wouldn't trade for anything," said Curtis.
Audubon Park Mayor Mike Scalise is said to be out of town and not available for comment.
As a recent public hearing revealed, Scalise is already under fire from residents for mis-managing city funds. Now, this.
Denise Killmeier has lived in Audubon Park for 14 years.
"This is a surprise about the chief. It really is," she said.
Audubon Park's city council is also apparently in the dark. Council member Cary Campbell said that the mayor has not provided any information despite the council's request.
Meantime, the acting chief says the department will continue to serve the city's 1,800 residents.
"I know there's been some issues with some past administrations. I hope that they can let those be bygones and start fresh," said Curtis.
"I just hope they can keep us all well informed and protect us like we're paying them to do," said Killmeier.
Acting Chief Curtis says a search committee will be formed to find a new chief. But first there will certainly be a search for answers about the old one.
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