Bloomfield residents vent frustration over Mayor’s firing of city clerk, police chief

Bloomfield Mayor Chris Dudgeon tells the audience he will not resign as mayor during Thursday night’s special-called city council meeting.

Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Friday, June 2, 2023 — Bloomfield residents spent more than an hour voicing their concerns and criticism at Mayor Chris Dudgeon — including calls for his resignation — following his recent firing of Police Chief Steve Cambron and City Clerk Karen Biederman.

The special-called meeting was held solely to allow the public to express their concerns to the council, and to ask questions regarding the firings and what led up to that action by Mayor Dudgeon.

FORMER CITY CLERK. Former City Clerk Biederman mentioned in her comments that Dudgeon failed to inform the council that a parking lot across from Stock Yards Bank he wanted to purchase needed more than $100,000 in repairs.

Dudgeon said the bank had refused to grant a needed water line easement until the city purchased that lot for $10,000. He said he was aware the lot was in disrepair when the city purchased it.

“I hadn’t addressed the issue with the council because I didn’t know that we want to spend that much money on it,” Dudgeon said, adding that he would have liked to see it turned into public parking.

The parking lot had been in disrepair for a long time, Biderman claimed, and it should have been fixed by the previous owners.

“That was a great purchase with our tax money,” she said.

Former Bloomfield Police Chief Steve Cambron answers questions following the city council meeting on Thursday.

Biederman said she was fired for trying to expose alleged illegal activities by the city’s public works superintendent, Scott Tompson, who was also the mayor’s personal friend.

FORMER POLICE CHIEF. Former Chief Steve Cambron said he and Bideerman were fired after the clerk brought a complaint to him regarding Thompson’s alleged illegal activities.

“All l did is when Karen Beiderman brought a complaint to me, I ran with it,” Cambron told the crowd.

He accused Dudgeon of asking him to “squash” his investigation regarding Thompson — a charge Dudgeon was quick to deny. However, Cambron said he had a recording of that conversation that will prove it happened.

Cambron told Dudgeon that he would resign as chief once his investigation regarding Thompson was complete. Dudgeon told Cambron at that point that he “accepted his resignation.”

Cambron said he told the mayor he wasn’t resigning, only to have Dudgeon repeat that he “accepted his resignation.”

When asked if he would return to his job as Bloomfield police chief, Cambron said he would not while Dudgeon was still mayor.

Cambron said he turned over all of the evidence he had to the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office, which is not handling the investigation.

CALL FOR MAYOR’S RESIGNATION. “This town has been split in half by one person, and we are owed an apology,” Bloomfield resident Christina Lee told the crowd.

“My opinion is that we were robbed. Our taxpayer money was taken advantage of, and you all had no say in it, which I find appalling.”

She called on the city to hire back the police chief and city clerk, and have the mayor resign.

“I will not resign, that is not happening,” Dudgeon said firmly. “I’m going to continue to do what I do for this city moving forward.”

Several speakers accused Dudgeon of knowing about and covering up at least some of Thompson’s illegal acts, which Dudgeon denied.

A city employee said Dudgeon told him in March to bring reports of any illegal acts by city employees directly to the mayor and not Chief Cmabron.

NEXT UP. The next Bloomfield City Council meeting is 6:30 p.m. June 19, 2023, which will include a public comment period.


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