BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WHAS11) – The Bardstown Police Department will be looking for a new chief at the end of May after Chief Rick McCubbin announced his retirement. He told the mayor in a meeting on Monday.
“We shook hands. We gave man hugs and we promised to be friends and I hope he honors that because I will,” Mayor John Royalty said.
This of course comes after the mayor announced a restructuring in the police department – demoting two officers, Tom Roby and Chris Brandon and promoting McKenzie Mattingly and Brad Gillock. On Chief McCubbin's twitter he wrote he was “completely in the dark” about the changes.
The mayor says he made a mistake.
“I could've handled it differently. Nobody is perfect. Humans are going to make mistakes,” he said.
Mayor Royalty says even though he has the authority to make the changes, he should've gone to Chief McCubbin first. He says he cannot go into the reasoning behind the restructuring because it's a confidential matter but he was supposed to have a special meeting with the chief Tuesday that would focus on time sheets and officers’ actions.
Some people who live in Bardstown say they are fed up.
“It's just a mess. You know what I mean? It's a mess,” one resident said.
While others say the mayor made the wrong decision and losing the police chief is a major loss.
“I think losing him at this time is really a travesty. I think it's one of the many shortcomings of the current administration and I hope they can right the ship because losing your very experienced police chief is not a good thing for a community,” Andy Stone, of Bardstown said.
The mayor says McKenzie Mattingly will step in as interim chief while he searches for a chief outside of the police department. He says he's already gotten interest from officers in Louisville and Lexington.