Tempers flare at Cumberland City Council meeting

By: Paige Quiggins Email
By: Paige Quiggins Email

They met to discuss the appointment of a new police chief but the meeting of the Cumberland City Council on Valentine’s Day quickly became heated.

“I believe can do the city here a good job this is not my first time it will be like coming back home again,” said Cumberland City Police Chief Wayne Creech.

The City of Cumberland had a new chief of police sworn in at the monthly meeting but that was not what raised some eyebrows.

Former Police Chief Kenny Raleigh was fired by Mayor Carl Hatfield and filed a grievance against him. The new chief came in after drama has happened between the city council and the mayor.

Ongoing tiffs between Councilman Charles Raleigh and Mayor Hatfield about statements made to the press had the men in disagreement. Both men said it is a family matter.

“He is being vindictive because his brother was the chief of police and that's why he is coming after me because it is revenge you know,” said Hatfield.

Hatfield said that “it ain’t over ‘til it’s over” in reference to the status of the ethics board complaints filed against him by Raleigh.

“He always used the excuse that I am mad because he fired my brother but that is not the case,” said Raleigh.
“Actually the comments I had made about money were months before my brother was fired and it had nothing to do with it, he just likes to throw that in there.”

Raleigh said that all eight complaints came back in his favor. Raleigh said the ethics board ruled in his favor that he did ask Hatfield to step down after questions about finances.

“He said I never asked him to resign and I asked him again to confirm it to resign,” said Raleigh.
“He has no business in this position; he is a very vindictive man that does not have the city’s best interest at heart.”

Hatfield said he had no intentions of stepping down.

“As a matter of fact I had considered it before but when hell freezes over I will step down,” said Hatfield.

Hatfield used his mayor speaking time to address concerns about an article in the Harlan Daily Enterprise and said that the reporter was lied to.

“We all know that one councilmember cannot speak for the entire council,” said Hatfield.

Raleigh read Kateena Haynes’ resignation letter aloud. Her resignation will not be effective until the next meeting on March 13.

“She just did what a lot of us are considering doing,” said Raleigh.

“It's always the same puppets that he has working for him that read his ordinances and pass it through and I just won't stand for it,” Raleigh said.

Also at the meeting, council woman Kateena Haynes submitted her resignation. Raleigh made a motion to replace Haynes with former mayor Loretta Cornett.

The motion passed, but had to be tabled because Haynes' resignation will not be official until the next meeting.

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