Boyle fire department involved in lawsuits

Published 8:58 am Friday, December 4, 2020

A former Boyle County firefighter has sued the county fire chief, the fire protection district and another individual claiming they “engaged in a pattern of harassment, retaliation and slander” against him. In their answer to the complaint, they denied the allegations and filed a counterclaim alleging that he had stolen or embezzled money from the fire department.

Both lawsuits are requesting a jury trial.

In the complaint filed Aug. 19 in Boyle Circuit Civil Court, Nate Wesley of Boyle County names Donnie Sexton, both individually and as Boyle County Fire Chief, the Boyle County Fire Protection District and Steve Hamblin of Danville in the lawsuit.

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The document states in part they “have slandered the plaintiff (Wesley) by making accusations they knew to be false. … Intentionally inflicted emotional distress … and engaged in retaliation against Wesley when he attempted to file a whistle-blowing complaint against Sexton.”

The court document states, “as a result of the defendants’ outrageous behavior” Wesley incurred damages “in an amount in excess of the jurisdictional limits of this court to adequately and properly compensate him for the loss of wages, retirement and for his emotional stress and anxiety.”

The defendants’ answers, filed on Oct. 1, state that all actions the three defendants took pertaining to Wesley were “for legitimate reasons.”

It also states that his claims “are precluded by the doctrines of estoppel, waiver, laches and unclean hands.”

They also state that Wesley’s claims are barred or limited by immunity and statute of limitations and requested that the case be dismissed.

On the same day, the Boyle County Fire Protection District also filed a counterclaim stating that while Wesley was employed with the fire department as a lieutenant and clerk until he resigned on Nov. 27, 2019, he “fraudulently and surreptitiously, stole or embezzled” money from the fire protection district “exceeding the amounts necessary to establish jurisdiction” in circuit court.

The counterclaim states that Wesley’s “fraudulent acts … have caused damage to the Boyle County Fire District.”

The fire district is asking for judgment against Wesley “in the amount established by the evidence” during a jury trial.