County leaders react after SE Bullitt Fire Chief is back on the - WDRB 41 Louisville News

County leaders react after SE Bullitt Fire Chief is back on the board he had resigned from

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Hatfield reads his letter asking to withdraw his resignation. Hatfield reads his letter asking to withdraw his resignation.
SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A letter from the SE Bullitt Fire Chief to the County Judge Executive and to Fiscal Court says some taxpayers and Fire District residents are requesting his return. Even though he resigned from the Southeast Bullitt Fire Protection District Board recently, on Friday, Fire Chief Julius Hatfield says he's back after hearing from numerous people about how the district is being run in his absence.

"Neither the Fiscal Court nor the Judge Executive have made any acceptance of my resignation on the record and therefore I am within my rights to withdraw the resignation and resume my position as Chairman of the SE Bullitt Fire District," Hatfield said.

The public was booing after hearing that.

County Judge Executive Melanie Roberts says she did accept his resignation. But the Fire Department's Attorney, Jeff Freeman, says it wasn't "on the record" so the resignation can be withdrawn at any point before that.

Maurice Byrne, the Attorney for the Protection District Board sent a statement Monday night that read, "The correct minutes of the 12-8-14 meeting WILL DOCUMENT the resignation and election of a new CHAIRMAN to replace Julius Hatfield who had resigned. Thus, it 'IS ON THE RECORD'.” (sic) He also said it's up to the Fiscal Court to remove Hatfield now. 

John Wooldridge, the new Bullitt County Attorney says, "If we find later today or as we go through this, he has been removed by action of the board...of evidence of their minutes which I have not seen which have not been filed yet, then the County Judge has the ability to appoint a successor to Mr. Hatfield for the remainder of his term or next election, the next election being in June."

The Fire Protection District Board which collects taxes and gives them to the Fire Department for service, broke its contract with the Fire Department. There is now a 60-day contract to keep SE Bullitt firefighters on the streets, while a new, long-term contract is worked out. Fire departments will submit bids.

"Hopefully your Corporation Board will bid on it," said Dan Thibodeaux, a Fire Protection District Board Member. "If they do, that's fine."

"The only difference is you will be running the show," Hatfield said. "That's what you are trying to say."

Hatfield is under investigation for insurance fraud and alleged mismanagement.

"I've heard this so many times it's almost getting me sick to my stomach," he said. "I've heard Thibodeaux come holler about his $800,000 that we take in and only spend $400,000-$500,000. Where is the other $500,000? In the People's Bank."

Hatfield is on paid leave as Fire Chief, but Roberts say that's not enough.

"I would like to see a resignation occur due to the insensitivity, like I've told you before, the insensitivity and the image for Bullitt County," Roberts said. "We want to move on."

Fiscal Court is already hearing about Hatfield and his department. People can speak at the public Fiscal Court Meeting on Tuesday morning at 9:30.

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