Kentucky sheriff lays off, rehires department’s entire staff during budget crisis
Between Feb. 13 and Feb.17, Breathitt County, Ky., Sheriff’s office had a staff of only one person.
Breathitt County Sheriff John Hollan was forced to lay off his entire staff members, including deputies and court security officers, on Feb. 13 because his department’s 2020 budget had not been approved by the Jan. 15 state deadline, according to a letter Hollan sent to his employees, posted on Lexington, Ky., TV station LEX18.
“I have exhausted all resources and unfortunately, the department can no longer pay employees or provide fuel for department vehicles until this is resolved,” Hollan said in a news release, according to Lexington CBS affiliate WKYT.
Hollan blamed Breathitt County Judge Executive Jeff Noble for the issue, saying Noble didn’t schedule a meeting to approve the budget by the deadline, according to LEX18.
Noble however, claims that he received the first copy of the budget on Jan. 26, past the deadline, Hazard, Ky., TV station WYMT reports. He also says that he needed to ask questions before approving the budget.
“It is not left to me to pass the budget that is the fiscal court’s duty. I am just one member of it,” Noble told WYMT.
After laying off his staff, Hollan was left with the sole responsibility of serving the county, WYMT reports. “I’ll be on call 24/7 until the budget is passed. I love what I do and you know I love people. Hopefully it will pass Monday,” Hollan told the station.
The budget was indeed passed on Monday, Feb. 17, and laid-off staff went back to work the following day, WKYT reports.