An investigation by the Kentucky State Police into alleged missing funds at the Cumberland Fire Department has led to the suspension of Cumberland Fire Chief Fess Eldridge.
Mayor Carl Hatfield confirmed Tuesday that Eldridge had been suspended.
KSP Det. Jason Joseph began his investigation on Jan.28. after Post 10 was contacted by the mayor.
“He (Eldridge) was the person responsible for overseeing the functions of the fire department,” said Hatfield. “That was his responsibility.”
Hatfield said the length of Eldridge’s suspension is indefinite at this time.
Hatfield stated the investigation is still ongoing.
“There’s no change in the status of what’s taking place in the fire department,” said Hatfield. “We’re still waiting for the outcome of the Kentucky State Police investigation.”
Council member David Dixon said the city council was aware of the investigation.
“There’s really nothing I can say other than there is an ongoing investigation into the fire department. The council is aware the investigation is taking place,” said Dixon.
Dixon said his concern is for the city.
“The only thing I’m concerned with is if there is any money missing that the city be able to recoup the money,” said Dixon.
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,” KSP Public Affairs Officer Shane Jacobs said.
Kentucky State Police Sgt. Jackie Pickrell verified in a previous report that KSP had received a complaint and a detective had been assigned to investigate the case.
“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.
Attempts to reach Eldridge were unsuccessful.
The Associated Press contributed to this article