Nelson Co. Sheriff pulls out of local tactical team; Mayor calls - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Nelson Co. Sheriff pulls out of local tactical team; Mayor calls the move 'irresponsible'

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BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- The mayor of Bardstown says the Nelson County sheriff is putting citizens and officers at risk by pulling out of the local tactical team. 

Sheriff Ed Mattingly announced his decision to leave the joint Flex Team in an email Friday, which was obtained by WDRB News. 

"I don't know where he slipped off the wagon ... don't have no clue why," Mayor John Royalty said about the sheriff. 

The unit was a partnership between the sheriff's office and the Bardstown Police Department. The team responds to hostage situations and carries out high risk warrants, among other things. 

We're told out of the unit's 11 tactical officers, three were from the sheriff's office. 

"He has put the citizens at harm, and he has also put the other fellow police officers at risk, at very high risk, and it's irresponsible," Royalty said. 

Royalty says he recently asked the sheriff to put more money into the team, but that's not the only issue at play. 

"This email is extremely political," Royalty explained. 

In the email, Mattingly writes that he thinks Royalty will take issue with the joint team and says quote, "... I do not want to be involved in the drama." 

"It is drama. It's one that didn't have to play out," Bardstown Councilwoman Kecia Copeland said Friday. 

Royalty recently restructured the Bardstown Police Department and put new people in command. He did so without talking to Chief Rick McCubbin, and it's caused some push back. 

"It's the making of an arbitrary decision," Copeland said. 

Copeland says she stands behind the sheriff's decision to leave the Flex Team. 

"I trust Eddie Mattingly, the sheriff, and if he thinks that this is what needs to be done, then it's exactly what needs to be done," she explained.  

She also says there will likely be more fallout from the mayor's actions in the future. 

"I really believe that the chief will leave us," she said. "I said six months, but it might be sooner than that." 

Chief Rick McCubbin and Sheriff Ed Mattingly declined to comment. 

You can read the full email sent Friday below: 

I want to let you know that we are no longer participating in the joint flex team with the Bardstown Police Department.  I have spoken with the team commander, McKenzie Mattingly, and informed him of such.  I explained to him that I know he wants to have the best team possible and to do so is expensive.  I explained to him that I foresee the mayor making a issue with the joint team and that I do not want to be involved in the drama.  It is obvious to me that divorce is imminent with anything involving joint resources and I want to cut the chase.  Please forward this to your men if it involves them.   

Sheriff Ed Mattingly
Nelson County Sheriff's Office

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