Bullitt County Sheriff Dave Greenwell plans to resign February 28, according to a Facebook post from his department on Friday.
In his handwritten resignation letter, Greenwell says his last day will be Tuesday and he's retiring Wednesday. He signed the letter, "P.S. Jesus knows!"
Greenwell, who has been in office since January 2011, has health issues and is facing allegations of misconduct by his former second-in-command and a lead detective. He did not respond to several requests for comment from WDRB News.
Judge-Executive Melanie Roberts, the county's top elected official, will name an interim sheriff who will serve until Greenwell's term is over. An election will then be held in 2018, with that new sheriff beginning in January 2019. Bullitt County Magistrate Joe Laswell said that he already has talked to Roberts about considering him on a list of candidates for interim sheriff.
Shepherdsville police officers and deputies with the sheriff's department, among others, have inquired about the position, according to Roberts' office.
The Sheriff's Office Spokesman Mike Murdoch says he has offered to help finish Greenwell's term, but has no interest in running for sheriff.
Laswell, who has 16 years of law enforcement experience and was Pioneer Village Police Chief from 1999 to 2004. He acknowledged he has not seen a resignation letter.
Larry Coy already filed paperwork to run in the 2018 election for Bullitt County Sheriff. But says he hopes he's appointed to the job. He has more than 50 years of law enforcement experience. He says he's discussed the job with Roberts. He says, "We talked about if I would be willing to accept the position if it became open. I told her I would. We discussed the pros and cons of it."
The Bullitt County Attorney's office has advised Roberts to fill the position as soon as possible, as all of the deputies will have to be sworn in again.
Former Bullitt County Chief Sheriff's Deputy John Cottrell, who was second in command of the department, has filed a whistleblower lawsuit claiming he was fired by Greenwell after revealing that Greenwell was involved in criminal activity.
Cottrell claims he and two subordinates in the department investigated Greenwell and "revealed that the Sheriff is involved in serious criminal activity."
Over the last two years, Cottrell said he reported alleged mismanagement, waste, fraud, abuse of authority and illegal activity by Greenwell, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit did not provide details on the alleged criminal activity.
Capt. Mike Halbleib and Det. Tim Murphy, who work in the department's drug task force, assisted in the investigation of Greenwell, according to the suit.
Greenwell has denied any wrongdoing.
In addition, Greenwell recently gave a deposition in the case of Lynn Hunt, a former detective with the sheriff's department who has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit.
In January, Greenwell was forced to testify in Hunt's civil case, questioned as to whether he had any improper contact with former Bullitt Special Deputy Chris Mattingly during a federal investigation accusing Mattingly of being the head of a major drug cell in Kentucky with ties to a Mexican drug cartel.
Mattingly has pleaded guilty to money laundering and conspiring to distribute more than a ton of marijuana and methamphetamine.
"While this federal investigation was ongoing, did you ever have conversations with Chris or Leonard Mattingly regarding the investigation?" asked Mike Moulton, Hunt's attorney, according to a video of the deposition.
Carol Pettit, Greenwell's attorney stepped in, "Objection, he's not answering." Greenwell then testified, "I'm not answering."
The investigation into Mattingly started in 2014 when he was heard talking on a federal wiretap of a California cartel. He is scheduled to be sentenced in April.
The Mattingly family owns Mattingly's Used Cars on Old State Highway 245 in Bullitt County. The house next door is owned by Greenwell.
Moulton asked Greenwell, "Your son bought a car from the Mattingly's in September of 2015. Are you aware of that?"
Greenwell responded, "Am I aware my son bought one? Yes."
Moulton asked, "In September of 2015." Greenwell said "Yes."
"Was the criminal investigation going on still?" Moulton asked. Greenwell responded, "The criminal investigation, yes it was going on."
Hunt filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against Greenwell in 2015. Her termination letter says she was fired for violating department policies.
"You state that she was insubordinate continuing a relationship with a known target of a federal drug investigation, after being advised the subject was the target of a criminal investigation," Moulton asked Greenwell. "Who was that individual?"
"Chris and Leonard Mattingly," Greenwell testified. Leonard is Chris Mattingly's father and hasn't been charged with any crime.
After the hearing, WDRB tried to question Greenwell, Pettit stepped in, saying, "I can tell you he's not making a comment based on my advice."
Hunt was heard on wiretaps talking to Chris Mattingly, but she says she wasn't tipping him off to any investigation. Hunt isn't the only one who filed a lawsuit against the Sheriff.