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Back to work; Breathitt County Sheriff’s budget passes

Posted at 3:27 PM, Feb 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-17 18:40:18-05

BREATHITT COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — After spending the last three days as the only working member of the Breathitt County Sheriff’s office, John Hollan will be thrilled to have some company in the office tomorrow.

“Very happy! And happy to serve the people of Breathitt County again,” Sheriff Hollan said after his budget of more than $500,000 was approved by the fiscal court.

Hollan’s budget was held up for weeks, and because of that he was forced last Thursday to lay off all of his deputies, court security officers and office staff members.

It’s the second year in a row, the Sheriff’s office has experienced this type of delay with budget approval, and some would argue it’s been due to the eroding relationship between Hollan and Breathitt County Judge/Executive Jeff Noble. Noble has twice been arrested and charged with misuse of county funds, and it was Hollan’s office which handled those investigations.

“I can’t say 100%, that’s the reason,” Hollan told LEX on Friday when asked if Noble was intentionally holding up the budget. But for what it’s worth, today’s vote came back 3 to 2 in favor of passing, and Noble was one of the two members who voted ‘no.’

Sheriff Hollan said he doesn’t care who voted for, or against his budget proposal. He’s just glad to have his deputies and other staff members back on the job. The same people he had to, essentially, fire on Thursday were welcomed back to work today.

“That’s the main thing. Just get back to work and be operational,” Hollan said.

Hollan also noted that this year’s budget will allow for him to hire one additional sheriff’s deputy.