E. Ky. fire chief suspended amid investigation

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Associated Press

Posted on February 12, 2013 at 4:01 PM

CUMBERLAND, Ky. (AP) — A fire chief in eastern Kentucky has been suspended while Kentucky State Police conduct an investigation into missing funds at the fire department.

Cumberland Mayor Carl Hatfield told WYMT-TV (http://bit.ly/X1YHzK) that allegations of missing funds from the city's fire department surfaced about two weeks ago and officials turned the information over to Kentucky State Police. He said officials decided to suspend Fire Chief Fess Eldridge while the probe continues.

"We have to look after the taxpayer's money so that's what we expect to happen and let the chips fall where they may," said Cumberland City Councilman Charles Raleigh.

Police say they are conducting an investigation into "theft by deception of cold checks" and it could take weeks before they reach a conclusion.

"Our detective is currently interviewing individuals and other than that, we can't go into the case details except we do have an open investigation and are looking into the situation," Trooper Shane Jacobs said.

Eldridge did not return calls seeking comment.

Officials declined to release further information.

"The city council has been informed. The mayor's office has followed his protocol," City Councilman David C. Dixon said.

Council members say they are waiting on the investigation results to determine whether further action is needed.

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Information from: WYMT-TV, http://www.wkyt.com/wymtnews

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