West Buechel council rejects mayor's choice for new police chief - WDRB 41 Louisville News

West Buechel council rejects mayor's choice for new police chief

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The majority of West Buechel council members voted down the mayor's choice for a new police chief Thursday.

The meeting only lasted about 15 minutes, and included heated comments between a council member and the city attorney. 

Mayor Sharon Fowler nominated Sergeant Gary Sharp to the be new police chief of West Buechel. 

This comes after she appointed him as interim chief, ahead of a lieutenant. 

This didn't sit well with all council members. Some say they should have been in on that decision.

As one council member started discussing the vote, he was cut off by the city attorney. 

"Waiting to the last minute is putting this in almost a political crossfire. This should have been taken care of," Council member Toby Clark said.

"He needs to get on. We need to vote on this. You are getting off the subject. This is a special meeting," city attorney Genon Hensley yelled. 

When councilman Clark tried to ask more questions, including wanting to ask Sgt. Sharp questions before the vote, there was another outburst by Hensley. 

"We are not having a debate," Hensley said. 

"The audience needs to be informed," councilman Clark said. 

"Well then, if you want to inform the audience, you do that outside of this meeting. The purpose of this meeting, the reason we have a special meeting is to discuss what takes place as far as the business is concerned," Hensley says. 

The council voted and 3 were against the nomination. Two council members were for it, and 1 council member didn't vote. 

"How can I, as a council person, make an informed decision without having any time or anything to go on and you can't even ask a question or go into executive session, which I tried to do," says Councilman Loy Crawford. 

"She has looked through the department, which is usually unusual. Most cities will hire outside of the department. She had two outstanding officers that she had to choose from. She had to make the decision between the two officers who suited her the best," says Councilwoman Elizabeth Bierbaum. 

Another issue was also brought up regarding a recent vote for a West Buechel K9 unit. 

The Mayor is for this, although the police department's two top officers are not. 

The council recently approved it, but some council members want to re-discuss the issue.

Mayor Sharon Fowler has until Friday, May 2nd, to announce an interim police chief. Council members will then vote on that decision at a future council meeting. 

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