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Villa Hills Police Chief facing charges, council to decide fate

VILLA HILLS, Ky. (Brad Underwood) -- The ongoing battle continues between the Villa Hills mayor and police chief after Mayor Mike Martin formally filed charges against Police Chief Dan Goodenough Wednesday afternoon.

Mayor Martin had given Goodenough until 5p.m. Wednesday to resign, Goodenough didn't. The charges are not criminal and boil down to primarily allegations of mismanagement, bad record keeping according to the Kentucky State Auditor's report from the fall of 2013, lack of supervising the building inspector and not following direct orders from the mayor.

Mayor Martin says by not following those orders, Goodenough cost the city money in overtime payments.  Before any business was discussed at the Villa Hills Council caucus meeting, Martin read a written statement regarding the charges and the suspension of Chief Goodenough.
 
"Some residents and members of council have expressed concerns we are short on coverage, I want to assure our residents we are not," said Mayor Martin.
 
Martin added that things are no different in coverage and leadership during Goodenough's absence.  Martin says Specialist Mel Wright is in charge of operations at this time.
 
In the front row, three men wore shirts and carried signs that read, "Keep our Villa Hills Police Department."  Public comment wasn't allowed during the meeting but many made their point clear.
 
"We have lost decades worth of experience in the city," said Larry Heinzelman. "He (Martin) attempted to fire the assistant police chief who has since retired, now he (Martin) is going after the police chief." 
 
Several members of council publicly expressed concerns with the handling of the efforts to remove the police chief citing a lack of communication. Chair of Fire Authority Rod Baehner was one of them.
 
"I had hope you might have proactively communicated what you could do to us as a body and let us know these things so we can talk to concerned residents who are approaching us," said Baehner.
 
Before the executive session, Mayor Martin responded to the comments about the lack of communication.
 
"We've had several members that have had things given to them confidentially and they've leaked it out," said Martin.  "So you get reluctant to want to talk."
 
The Head of the safety committee, Jim Cahill, resigned his position as chair during the meeting as well.
 
No action was taken on Goodenough's future.  Mayor Martin says a full hearing will be held in front of council on Monday, March 17th on whether or not to remove Goodenough from his position as Chief of Police.
 
Follow Brad Underwood on Twitter @BUnderwoodWKRC and LIKE him on Facebook

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