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Mayor fires CFO in wake of investigation of ‘irregularities’ in the city’s finances

This photo from the Tuesday, March 24, 2015, city council meeting shows retiring CFO Mike Abel sitting with incoming CFO Tracy Hudson. Hudson was removed as CFO and terminated effective Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019.

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019 — Mayor Dick Heaton announced Tuesday evening that he has removed Tracy Hudson as the City of Bardstown’s chief financial officer and terminated her as a city employee.

In Hudson’s termination letter dated last Tuesday, Oct. 1, Heaton wrote that the reason for her termination was due to the “irregularities in the finances of the City of Bardstown that concern you as the City’s Chief Financial Officer and you as an individual.”

The letter states that an investigation is ongoing, and Tuesday night, Heaton said it remains ongoing, though he said neither the Bardstown Police Department nor the Kentucky State Police are yet involved.

City Attorney Audrey Haydon distributed Hudson’s termination letter to members of the media at the end of the city council meeting. She also distributed copies of the letter dated Sept. 20, 2019, that was hand delivered to Hudson that suspended her with pay and directed her to immediately leave Bardstown City Hall with only her purse and cell phone.

Hudson worked in the city’s finance department at the time when former CFO Mike Abel retired March 31, 2015. Mayor John Royalty named Hudson as the city’s new chief financial officer with the council’s approval effective April 2015.

The “financial irregularities” were first made public at the Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019 city council meeting during an announcement by Heaton.

According a press release Heaton read aloud, he said was informed of the “potential irregularities” in the city’s finance department late Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019.

An investigation followed, and by Friday afternoon, Sept. 20, 2019, the release states “all funds were accounted for, subject to further investigation and an annual audit, which is ongoing.”

Tuesday night, Heaton again stressed that all city funds have been accounted for,, and that an investigation is ongoing.

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