SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Two members of the embattled Southeast Bullitt Fire District Board are being fired.

The action by the Bullitt Fiscal Court is just the latest in an ongoing dispute over money and control in Southeast Bullitt Fire District.

Following a 45-minute closed session, fiscal court members voted 5-0 to begin the process of removing two southeast Bullitt Fire District trustees, Kevin Moulton and board chairman Tom Kelly.

"We're hopeful that this action will bring a more positive atmosphere to our board," said Bullitt Co. Judge Executive Melanie Roberts.

The fire district board collects tax dollars to fund the fire department.

There is a continuing legal dispute between the two over board control of the department and how money is spent, or not spent.

The turmoil is the result of the controversial tenure of Julius Hatfield who served as both fire chief and board chairman before resigning under fire.

"I think the fiscal court feels like that money could be spent more efficiently," said Roberts.

The fire department is applauding the action.

"It wants this district board to perform the oversight responsibility that is appropriate, and not to interfere with the day-to-day operations of the department," said Thomas Clay, the fire department's attorney.

But the attorney for the fire district board questions whether fiscal court's removal of the two trustees is legal.

"It must be based upon inefficiency, neglect of duty, malfeasance or conflict of interest. And there is no grounds for that," said Maurice Byrne.

There are already two ongoing lawsuits between the department and the board. One is in the court of appeals, and the other headed toward court-ordered mediation.

Fiscal court's action adds another layer to the tangled web.

"There's an issue of trust. The department has issues of trust with the chairman, and hopefully with a new composition of the board those issues will be resolved," said Clay.

"The mediation will resolve all the issues. This was a last-ditch tactic to try and maneuver around the court system," said Byrne.

Roberts says she hopes to have the two trustees out by September. But this will likely be resolved not by fiscal court but a court of law.

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