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Kentucky Sheriff Lays Off Entire Department Until 2020 Budget Is Approved

Breathitt County Sheriff John Hollan laid off all his office staff, deputies, and court security officers on Thursday.

Jackson, KY – Breathitt County Sheriff John Hollan announced that all of the employees of the sheriff’s department would be laid off, effective end of business on Thursday, because the agency’s 2020 budget hasn’t been approved.

Sheriff Hollan made the announcement in a press release on the Breathitt County Sheriff’s Office’s official Facebook page even as foul weather and flooding were washing out county roads and causing mudslides.

The sheriff explained quite simply that the sheriff’s department was out of money and could no longer pay its staff.

The press release explained that despite the fact the department’s budget proposal was submitted in a timely manner, Breathitt County Judge Executive Jeff Noble had dropped the ball.

“The budget was submitted to the Fiscal Court with sufficient time to meet the state deadline of January 15, 2020,” the press release said. “Without an approved budget the sheriff cannot request a state monetary advancement and current department funds are essentially depleted.”

Sheriff Hollan said the layoff applied to all personnel, including office staff, deputies, and court security officers, WYMT reported.

The press release also said that all sheriff’s department vehicles would be left parked at the court house for the foreseeable future because there were no more funds available to fuel them.

“I have exhausted all resources and unfortunately, the department can no longer pay employees or provide fuel for department vehicles until this is resolved,” Sheriff Hollan said.

The sheriff said that he would continue to serve the community and be available on-call 24 hours a day until manpower had been restored to the department.

The sheriff’s office’s budget has been put on the Fiscal Court’s agenda for consideration on Feb. 17, according to WYMT.

He said that he hoped the matter would be resolved then but in the meantime, he has asked state and other local law enforcement agencies to help fill the gap.

Sandy Malone - February Thu, 2020

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