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When Steve Coulter leaves the Spencer County Sheriff’s Department this week, he won’t be alone. Two of his deputies will join him on the sidelines when incoming sheriff Buddy Stump takes office.
Deputy Larry Goodlett, who joined the staff when Coulter first became sheriff in 1994, and Chief Deputy Kyle Bennett, who has been part of the department since 2000, both recently confirmed that they would resign their positions when Coulter leaves office.
“I can work with Buddy Stump, but I can’t work for him,” said Goodlett, who declined to elaborate on his statement.
Goodlett and Bennett in August joined eight members of Coulter’s staff in signing a letter to The Spencer Magnet pledging allegiance to the sitting sheriff.
“We want our friends to know that we will continue working for Sheriff Coulter and have no intention of working for his competition,” the letter said in part.
Bennett echoed those sentiments in a recent interview.
“I am loyal to the sheriff,” said Bennett, who started his local law enforcement career as a resource officer for Spencer County schools for three years. “He brought me in and I am going out with him.”
It’s believed that others who originally signed the letter have reconsidered that stance and will be retained.
Neither the outgoing or incoming sheriff had much to say on the situation, citing legal advice.
“I’ll tell you anything you want to know about my staff on Jan. 3,” Stump said.
Goodlett and Bennett are two of eight deputies on Coulter’s staff, two of whom are part-time. Like Coulter, both said they would like to remain in law enforcement if possible, but to do so, they will likely have to work outside Spencer County.
“I have some applications out,” said Goodlett.
“We are going to miss everybody,” Bennett said. “People that we see on a day-to-day basis … we are going to miss helping people.”