CUMBERLAND, Ky. (WYMT) - His job is to protect those in danger around his community, but now the head of one Harlan County Fire Department is suspended while a Kentucky State Police investigation continues.
Cumberland Mayor Carl Hatfield confirms Fire Chief Fess Eldridge is suspended at this time.
Cumberland City Council members say there are allegations of missing funds in the Cumberland Fire Department.
"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 Charles Raleigh, Cumberland City Council member.
Council members say the mayor first told them of the issue two weeks ago. It was turned over to state police.
Detectives say they have a "theft by deception of cold checks" investigation at the department.
State police, the mayor, and city council members are not releasing any other details.
"The city council has been informed. The mayor's office has followed his protocol," said David C. Dixon, Cumberland City Council member.
Mayor Carl Hatfield told us off-camera Fire Chief Fess Eldridge is suspended while police conduct the investigation.
Eldridge has not returned WYMT's calls for comment.
State police say the investigation could take several weeks.
"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," said Trooper Shane Jacobs.
Council members say they are waiting for the investigation to finish before determining if any other action is needed.
Council members say any discussion on the fire department investigation will be conducted in executive session.