W. Buechel mayor, council at odds on police chief ahead of Thursday meeting


by Alex Schuman


Posted on April 30, 2014 at 11:44 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 30 at 11:44 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11)-- A special city council meeting will be held Thursday at 5 p.m. in West Buechel; on the agenda will be the approval of a new police chief. 

The town’s current chief retires Friday, and the department must have an interim chief or they will have to dissolve. 

Mayor Sharon Fowler alerted city council members she planned to appoint a sergeant to the head the department, but council members claim they have to approve of the person first.

“It’s not like hiring a maintenance guy,” John Campbell, a councilman, said. “She needs to get the council’s approval on something like this.”

Fowler claims she has made appointments like this in the past during her more than 16 years leading the city.

“I have, my entire career as mayor,’ she said.  “I haven’t had the problems I’m having now.”

Fowler plans to move forward with her current candidate. 

“He has high hopes for the department,” she said.  “I’m sure we’ll work well together.”

Some in the community trust Fowler’s judgment, but council members argue the process would not be legal.

"Our attorney… says that we have been filing it wrong for all these years, but we are gonna start doing it correctly," Campbell said.

No one involved, including the mayor, want to lose the town’s police department.  But several council members do not plan to let the mayor appoint the sergeant.