Lee County Commission votes to accept EMA Director Kathy Carson’s resignation during Tuesday meeting

Photo by Robert Noles/Opelika Observer

By Opelika Observer Staff

By Opelika Observer Staff
The Lee County Commission accepted the resignation letter of Lee County EMA Director Kathy Carson during Tuesday’s meeting.

Carson was placed on administrative leave with pay at the end of October, with no specifics given because there was an ongoing investigation at the time, according to County Administrator Roger Rendleman. Her resignation was brought up near the end of the meeting by Commission Chairman and Lee County Probate Judge Bill English, with the commission voting to accept her resignation. She will receive a severance package.

Following the meeting, Rendleman explained that the investigation was delving into the purchasing of a Polaris all-terrain vehicle worth nearly $25,000 that was purchased with grant money without being properly bid in accordance to state bid laws. Responsibility for paying for the vehicle now falls solely on the county.

“It was presented to the commission to be paid by a grant. The concern would be having that item be in question or (up) for a federal review,” Rendleman said. “When we were doing our review, some questions came up about some decisions that were made, not only during the purchase, but after. We looked into it further, and it became very apparent to the commission that we needed to address some issues as far as how things were being handled.”

Carson issued a public statement on Wednesday morning, saying how much she enjoyed her role with Lee County EMA the last 10 years and that the future of the organization is on solid footing moving forward.

“I appreciate the opportunity I have been afforded to serve the citizens and (first) responders of this community as the Emergency Management Agency Director for the past ten years. Lee County is graced with an amazing group of professionals in Law Enforcement, Fire, EMS/Medical, public works, Auburn University and SUSCC.  It has been my privilege to work with  each of these individuals and agencies. 2019 has been a tough year for our community but I trust our citizens are in capable hands, even as I move on to other opportunities.”

Deputy Director John Langley will lead the organization while they look for their next director.

Follow the Observer for updates on this story as it develops.


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