Fiscal Court votes to remove Hatfield as trustee on SE Bullitt F - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Fiscal Court votes to remove Hatfield as trustee on SE Bullitt Fire Protection District Board

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SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Questions about financial mismanagement and racism have led to action. The Southeast Bullitt Fire chief may soon lose one of his jobs. Bullitt County Judge Executive Melanie Roberts and fiscal court magistrates voted to begin the process of removing Julius Hatfield as a trustee on the Southeast Bullitt Fire Protection District Board Tuesday.

Judge Executive Roberts released the following statement:

I want to thank County Attorney Monica Robinson for assisting in this situation. According to the County Attorney, although I have no authority, and Fiscal Court has no authority to remove Julius Hatfield as Fire Chief, it is my understanding that under KRS we do have the ability to start the process to remove him as a trustee from the Southeast Fire Protection District Board based on malfeasance and conflict of interest. Therefore, based on the county's attorney's recommendation, I make a motion to start the process for removal of Julius Hatfield as trustee from the Southeast Fire Protection District Board for malfeasance and conflict of interest. Let me be crystal clear, it is my understanding that this action does not remove him as chief. If my understanding is not correct, I encourage and embrace those with answers to contact me so this problem may be resolved in an effective and timely manner.

"Well, I think this is well over due," said Magistrate Bob Hunt. "I mean, you take somebody that's that arrogant, and speaks a lot of trash and 'Do you understand English?' It's time for him to go." 

As WDRB News reported earlier this week, Kentucky law says an elected firefighter trustee may be removed from office by the county judge executive under certain circumstances. Tuesday, Roberts cited malfeasance and conflict of interest to remove Hatfield. But Roberts said she does not have the authority, nor does the fiscal court, to remove Hatfield as chief.

"Julius Hatfield is only one man and he does not represent the sentiments of our community," said Bullitt County Chamber of Commerce President Dan Cline at the meeting. He was reading a letter several Bullitt County community leaders signed calling for Hatfield's resignation. 

"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," Cline continued. 

Hatfield has not been charged with any crimes but is under investigation for official misconduct, insurance fraud, abuse of power and bribing and intimidating a witness. He's also come under fire for racist remarks. 

"I'd say to the people of Bullitt County, let this be your first lesson to not let people take advantage of you," said Southeast Bullitt Fire Protection District Board member Dan Thibodeaux. "Step forward, no matter what he is, step forward, fight for your rights and keep people like this Hatfield off a board where he has so much control." 

The next step to remove Hatfield is a special meeting that's been called for December 16. He had to be given at least 10 days notice so that he can bring an attorney.

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