Southeast Bullitt Fire Department selects new chief - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Southeast Bullitt Fire Department selects new chief

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BULLITT COUNTY, Ky. (WDRB) -- After months of scrutiny, the Southeast Bullitt fire department has a new fire chief.

The new chief, Erik Butler, resigned from his position on the Fire Department Corporation Board prior to his appointment as chief. Butler has said in the past that he didn't agree with previous chief Julius Hatfield being on the board.

During Tuesday night's Fire Corporation Board meeting, chairman Tommy Leach said the board is adopting new bylaws that will prevent apparent conflict of interests like what happened with Hatfield.

“It's just a feeling we need to get as many people as we can working together on this,” said Leach.

Another part of those bylaw changes include prohibiting any members from serving on both the Fire Corporation Board and the District Protection Board.

Butler has been with Southeast Bullitt for 10 years and spent previous time as a firefighter in Mt. Washington. Most recently, he was assistant chief to Hatfield. The board approved a salary of $45,000 for Butler, a $6,000 increase from what Hatfield was making.

Butler has been acting chief since Hatfield stepped down effective Feb. 1. Since then, he has restored a mutual aid agreement with Shepherdsville. There hasn't been an agreement between those two departments since 1999.

“It's what my guys wanted,” said Butler, “They wanted the mutual aid with Shepherdsville, the public wants it.”

The board also acted on hiring a new full-time administrative assistant for Butler. Previously, that was a part-time position filled by Julius Hatfield's wife. Now, that position is full-time and the person filling it has no relation to anyone associated with the fire department according to Butler.

“The past is the past. I want to move on to the future,” Butler said.

Also included in Tuesday's meeting was the board's adoption of a code of ethics for all firefighters and board members. The code of ethics was read aloud during the meeting, after which the board unanimously voted to adopt the new guidelines.

In a closed session, the board discussed ongoing litigation between the fire department and district protection board. Following the closed session, board members came back out and voted to use mediation to resolve the conflict in a timely manner.

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