Ky. Emergency Management Director Resigns Amid Misspending Controversy

Aug 8, 2013

The director of Kentucky Emergency Management resigned Thursday after a review released by State Auditor Adam Edelen identified as much as $5.6 million in questionable spending, and intimidation of employees.

Gov. Steve Beshear accepted John Heltzel’s resignation, and appointed Department of Military Affairs official Mike Jones as acting director of KYEM.

“The findings in the recent Auditor’s report made it clear that new leadership was needed in the agency, given the numerous questions and grave concerns it raised about the proper handling of funds, reliable and transparent accounting, and appropriate work environment under the general’s direction,” Beshear said, in a statement.

Edelen said that under Heltzel’s leadership, KYEM used taxpayer funds to pay for alcohol, entertainment and other disallowed expenditures.

Edelen also said KYEM altered documents in order to hide the spending.