City clerk claims she was fired for raising concerns about payments to Ky. mayor’s family

The former clerk of the city of Bloomfield is suing the mayor and the city, alleging that she was wrongfully fired after she raised concerns about the city’s spending.

Karen Biederman alleges in a lawsuit that, beginning in August 2018, about six months after she was hired, she became “concerned because city checks were being written to relatives of the mayor, specifically his mother-in-law,” as well as to Bloomfield Parade, which the suit says included the mayor’s daughter and mother-in-law.

The lawsuit says Biederman repeatedly asked for receipts but none were ever produced.

The former clerk claims in the suit that she notified the former police chief, Steve Cambron, about her concerns and told the mayor, Christopher Dudgeon, that she planned to take the issue before the city council at a meeting planned for May 15, 2023.

The lawsuit states that the mayor then canceled the council meeting and rescheduled it for the following week. On May 19, 2023, Biederman alleges, Dudgeon called Biederman “into his office and told her she was terminated immediately.”

The lawsuit, filed in Nelson Circuit Court May 16, alleges retaliatory discharge and asks for compensatory and punitive damages, along with court costs and attorney fees.

Dudgeon declined to comment on the litigation Saturday.

“Bloomfield is moving forward in a very positive direction,” he said. “We’re doing a lot of good things.”

Cambron, the police chief mentioned in Biederman’s lawsuit, was indicted in February on charges of official misconduct, falsely reporting an incident and tampering with physical evidence.

The indictment alleged that he falsely accused another city employee of using a city credit card to make unauthorized purchases, “trading sexual favors for overdue bills” and taking money from a children’s charity.

Cambron has pleaded not guilty.

Biederman and Cambron were both fired by Dudgeon on the same day, and three other city employees resigned in response, WHAS reported last year.

At that time, the Nelson County sheriff was investigating allegations of misuse of city funds, the Louisville station reported.

Dudgeon said Saturday that, as far as he knows, there is no current investigation involving him or the city.

“They investigated all that, found nothing,” Dudgeon said.