Grant Co. judge-executive's actions questioned after budget meeting
Grant County Judge-executive Darrell Link. Lisa Hutson/FOX19
GEORGETOWN, KY (FOX19) -
Elected officials come to blows after a budget meeting in Grant County.
It happened Monday night between the sheriff and judge executive with part of that heated exchange caught on camera.
"He acted like a man that wanted to fight," said Steve Kelly, who witnessed the exchange.
Kelly said he attended the meeting to push for more deputies on the street in Grant County but Judge-executive Darrell Link decided the budget could not be changed. After the meeting adjourned, Kelly said Link became aggressive.
"He approached me, got in my face, calling me some profanity names, backed me into a wall, just provoking me," Kelly said.
Link said he didn't start the confrontation but a few citizens and several deputies along with the sheriff were waiting for him when he left the meeting.
"I guess I could have responded and just stayed mum but it is kind of hard to do when you feel threatened," said Link.
Witnesses say Link shoved a deputy but Link claims that deputy invaded his personal space.
"I felt my personal space was invaded. I felt like my personal safety was in jeopardy and I was quite disappointed that the folks in the sheriff's department who ought to be providing law and order were actually the ones creating somewhat of a riot," said Link.
The sheriff did not want to go on camera but says he is turning the incident over to the Kentucky commonwealth attorney. Kelly said after the judge executive shoved a deputy and provoked several others, he should have gone straight to jail.
"I thought he needed to be arrested for it last night. He should have been arrested for it last night but like I said, we've got a good sheriff and he just wanted to diffuse the situation and just take care of the matter at a later date," Kelly said.
Link said as far as the budget goes, he gave the sheriff's deputies a substantial raise and the majority of the county funds go to public safety. He said he isn't concerned about a possible investigation into the incident. He plans to retire at the end of the year.
The Grant County Sheriff's office has eight deputies to patrol 250 square miles.That is down from 25 deputies in 2006.