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Jessamine Fire Chief dismissed following criminal case

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Posted at 11:06 PM, Jul 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-19 23:09:59-04

JESSAMINE COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Jessamine County Fire Board voted unanimously to dismiss the department's fire chief Tuesday, after deliberating for more than two hours in closed session.

Michael Rupard had previously been suspended from the department, as a criminal case against him worked its way through the judicial system. Rupard was indicted on charges of sexual abuse (3rd degree) and criminal trespassing in March.

Rupard was accused of inappropriately touching a woman in her home in January, according to court records. The woman had alleged that Rupard continued to touch her despite her efforts to move away from him.

After the indictment, Rupard's attorney stressed his client's innocence.

"The allegations are false and are unfortunately politically motivated," John Reynolds told LEX 18 in March. "My client and I are looking forward to our day in court."

In June, Rupard entered an Alford plea to charges of harassment and criminal trespassing, meaning he did not admit to wrongdoing but acknowledged that the prosecution had enough evidence to convict him.

Family members of both Rupard and of the woman who accused him lingered outside the department as board members met in closed session Tuesday.

They declined to speak on camera, but the woman's family told LEX 18 that Tuesday was an emotional day and they were satisfied Rupard was dismissed from his position.