Lee Co. EMA Director resigns two weeks after being placed on admin leave

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LEE COUNTY, Ala. (WRBL) – Lee County Emergency Management Director Kathy Carson has resigned her position nearly two weeks after she was placed on administrative leave with pay, according to the county administrator.

News 3 confirmed the Lee Co. Commission approved an agreement effectively accepting Carson’s resignation Tuesday night.

“I appreciate the opportunity I have been afforded to serve the citizens and 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,” shared Kathy Carson.

News 3 confirmed back on October 30, Carson was placed on paid administrative leave by the Chairmen of the Lee County Commission, Judge Bill English.

Lee County Administrator Roger Rendleman told News 3 the Chairmen and staff gather information into a matter.

“A review was performed on an equipment purchase made by EMA during the summer. A determination was made that the purchase wasn’t made in accordance with the Alabama Competitive Bid Law and Lee County Commission policies. The purchase was to be reimbursed 100% by a grant, however, the County Commission will now be required to utilize $24,832 in unbudgeted, unallocated funds to pay for the purchase. During the review of this purchase, various concerns regarding the decisions and actions of the EMA staff and its director required additional investigation. Prior to the conclusion of the additional investigation, the Lee County Commission has agreed to terms for the acceptance of Kathy Carson’s resignation as the Lee County EMA Director,” stated Rendelman.

Carson had been at the helm of the Lee County EMA for nearly a decade. Former Director Carson and the Lee County EMA team were thrust into the national spotlight back on March 3rd when deadly tornadoes ripped through Lee County.

Twenty-three people were killed in Beauregard, and hundreds more were injured or suffered devastating property damage across the county.

Rendleman says a search team will be organized to find a new director.

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