Bullitt County leaders push for resignation of Southeast Bullitt - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Bullitt County leaders push for resignation of Southeast Bullitt Fire Chief Julius Hatfield

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A group of Bullitt County community leaders wants the "immediate resignation" or removal of Southeast Bullitt Fire Chief Julius Hatfield.

Bullitt Co. Chamber of Commerce President Dan Cline plans to read the letter at Tuesday's Bullitt County Fiscal Court meeting.

"Julius Hatfield is only one man and he does not represent the sentiments of our community," the opening sentence of the letter reads.

Monica Robinson, the Bullitt County Attorney says, "Since I have been in office for the last four years, I have said multiple times... and at many public meetings.. the number one question that I have the public come in here and meet with me and want answers on is Southeast."

There was so much public concern, Robinson wrote a letter outlining all the issues to the Kentucky State Auditor's Office in July of 2013.

The Auditor's Office says it's wrapping up its latest examination of the Southeast Fire Protection District which collects the tax money and gives that to Fire Department or Fire Corporation for service.

Robinson says, "I have talked to federal authorities early on. They were my first stop."

 WDRB News first reported allegations of financial mismanagement involving Hatfield last month, after a year-long investigation.

Also last month, Bullitt County Sheriff's Deputies seized documents and computers from fire headquarters and Hatfield's home as part of a criminal investigation that could lead to a grand jury indictment.

Hatfield made discriminatory comments toward Reporter Valerie Chinn at a Fire Protection District Board Meeting and is recorded on police video using a racial epithet to describe a black family involved in a traffic accident in September.

Robinson says, "I hated what happened to you... and I hated the way Bullitt County looked at all of that. The fact of the matter it actually shed light on this because I have been going around for 4 years incredibly concerned about the money here."

Hatfield is not charged with any crime.

The letter by community leaders goes on to say, "There is no place for such arrogance and insensitivity. We as community leaders and citizens, who are proud to call Bullitt County home, denounce this behavior," the letter continues.

"The actions and word of Julius Hatfield could not be farther from what we believe as a community. We are appalled by his attitude and we do not support him on any level."

(Read the full letter HERE.)

The letter is signed by the Bullitt County Chamber of Commerce, the Bullitt County Economic Development Authority, the Shepherdsville-Bullitt County Tourist and Convention Commission, Bullitt County Judge/Executive Melanie Roberts and the mayors of Shepherdsville, Mount Washington, Lebanon Junction, Hunters Hollow and Hebron Estates.

Hatfield is the chairman of the Southeast Bullitt Fire Protection District board as well as the vice-chairman of the separate fire department board, also called the Fire Corporation Board. He has served as fire chief since 1990.

Bullitt Fiscal Court meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Bullitt County Courthouse in Shepherdsville. The public will be allowed to voice their concerns about Hatfield. Organizers are expecting a large turnout.

A Kentucky law states the County Judge Executive can removed Hatfield as a firefighter trustee. That is expected to be discussed at the meeting.

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