Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District names new fire chief following dispute
SUNRISE BEACH - Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District elected Joseph LaPlant as the new permanent fire chief, following a string of heated disagreements and resignations.
In early January 2018, previous Fire Chief Dennis Reilly said the district was understaffed and overstrained.
Later that year, Reilly resigned from his position, claiming he was being harassed by the board treasurer, Bob Hemen. According to KY3, tensions rose between Reilly and Hemen after the April 2018 election, and Hemen was censured by the board several months before Reilly resigned.
Reilly's term ended in mid-October, and the position was temporarily replaced by Assistant Fire Chief Jamie Karl.
Less than a week after Reilly's resignation, the board president, Brian Layman, also resigned. Layman has since returned to the position and still currently holds it.
According to a press release, LaPlant was most recently the Fire Inspector for the High Ridge Fire Protection District near St. Louis. He has a bachelor’s degree in Fire Service Management from Lindenwood University and is a certified firefighter and EMT.
LaPlant will take over as chief before July.