Hatfield resigns from Southeast Bullitt Fire District board - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Hatfield resigns from Southeast Bullitt Fire District board

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Julius Hatfield outside his Bullitt Co. home last month, as officers served a search warrant Julius Hatfield outside his Bullitt Co. home last month, as officers served a search warrant
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The chief of the Southeast Bullitt Fire Department has resigned his position on the fire protection district board, but remains as fire chief.

The fire district board's attorney released Julius Hatfield's resignation letter Thursday afternoon.

[CLICK HERE TO READ THE LETTER]

In that letter to the county judge executive, members of fiscal court and "interested citizens," Julius Hatfield says he also wants "to formally apologize" for comments he recently has made "which have recently been the subject of negative attention."

Hatfield was recorded on Bullitt County sheriff's office video using a racial epithet to describe a family involved in a car crash in September.

His inappropriate comments to WDRB News reporter Valerie Chinn last month attracted international attention.

Also last month, county sheriff's officers served search warrants on Hatfield's home and the fire department headquarters as part of an investigation into alleged financial mismanagement. Information is to be shared with state and federal authorities. The potential evidence could lead to a presentation to the Bullitt County grand jury.

Hatfield has served in dual roles as a member of the fire district's board and as fire chief. He has not been charged with any crime.

"I also want to assure everyone that the accusations of any criminal wrongdoing on my part are false," Hatfield said in the letter.

"I accept responsibility for the poor choices, and I sincerely regret that I have said or done anything that reflects badly on our community or that has hurt or offended anyone," Hatfield continued in the resignation letter.

Hatfield added that people should be proud of Southeast Bullitt firefighters "who are all good people, and should not judge them "by my shortcomings."

Hatfield closes the letter, "It has been an honor to serve the people of the District."

The board attorney told WDRB News the letter reflects Hatfield's resignation only from the fire district board of trustees.

A group of Bullitt County elected officials and business leaders on Monday called for Hatfield's resignation from all Southeast Bullitt Fire Protection District and fire department responsibilities. Fiscal Court members voted to begin removal proceedings involving Hatfield's board seat.

"This is the first step in the healing process. I'm extremely pleased Mr. Hatfield has resigned...," said Judge Executive Melanie Roberts in an emailed statement Thursday afternoon.

"We are working with other agencies to explore all our options. We will continue to do whatever we can to resolve this issue," Roberts said.

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