Commonwealth Journal

Local News

December 20, 2012

Bluegrass Mental Health under scrutiny by auditor

Lexington company operates Oakwood locally

Lexington, Ky. —  

LEXINGTON, Ky. — A state audit has found spending and management problems at a Lexington nonprofit agency that provides mental health care, including the management of two state-owned facilities.
Auditor Adam Edelen said in the report on Thursday that executives at Bluegrass Regional Mental Health-Mental Retardation Board awarded themselves benefits worth millions of dollars without scrutiny from the agency's board of directors.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that the audit found the agency has paid nearly $3 million in benefit contributions since 1997 to top executives at the CEO's discretion while most employees received little or nothing.
The agency, among other things, manages Eastern State Hospital in Lexington and Bluegrass Oakwood in Somerset, both of which are owned by the state.
"Dedicated profess-ionals, many of whom face great challenges on a daily basis in our commonwealth's mental health facilities, had not received raises since at least 2009," Edelen said in his report. "As we've recently been reminded, untreated mental illness can have tragic consequences. To provide that care and protect the public, we must provide those on the front lines with respect and fair pay."
In response to the findings, Bluegrass board chairman Scott Gould said the board would review the report and its recommendations "and take action to preserve the integrity of our policies and procedures at Blue-grass."
He also said the board would discuss the possibility of an internal auditor who would report to the board.
"We have always had tremendous respect for the ethical behavior of each member of our executive team, and we believe the internal auditor could complement our existing staff and will help insure transparency and confidence in Bluegrass' corporate structure," Gould wrote.
Bluegrass CEO Shannon Ware said last week that she plans to retire after four years of leading the agency. 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Mayor Girdler.jpg Bill puts freeze on occupational tax funds

    An addition to the late-passed Kentucky Transportation Cabinet budget contains an Easter egg of sorts that could have a substantial impact on Pulaski County — although Somerset’s mayor is downplaying it.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brenzel and LCRH sign cmyk.jpg Brenzel steps down as LCRH CEO

    Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital (LCRH) has announced that CEO Mark Brenzel has decided to step down from the top leadership position.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • recycling.ht.jpg Science Hill elementary students promote recycling

    For one group of Science Hill Independent students, taking out the trash isn’t something they avoid.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • carrie dixon-wiese.jpg Local housing facility subject of $349,000 lawsuit

    A local housing facility is the subject of a lawsuit in U.S. Eastern District Court, with several major entities named as defendants — though the Somerset city attorney notes that’s actually more for their protection.
    The defendants listed included the City of Somerset, Somerset Independent Board of Education, and Pulaski County government, as well as the company Somerset East Mt. Vernon Associates, Ltd.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Last rescue adopted pic.jpg Last of dogs rescued from Nancy kennel is adopted

    The last of 27 dogs housed at a Louisville animal rescue center after they were taken from a western Pulaski County puppy mill in a January raid has found a permanent home.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pulaski gets small share of road money

    Some $200 million worth of road-building projects in Pulaski County during the past decade likely is the reason this county got only a tiny share in the two-year road plan hammered out by the General Assembly during the session that adjourned late Tuesday.

    April 17, 2014

  • LaDonna Hurd.jpg Local firefighter dies from injuries suffered in fall at skating rink

    The community’s move to rally around a local volunteer firefighter, nurse, and single mother injured while roller skating has taken on a more tragic note.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • LAKE-FISHING FOTO.JPG Rising lake levels are improving area fishing conditions

    The rising level of Lake Cumberland is covering banks that have been bare for seven years and increasing habitat for game fish such as bass, bluegill and crappie.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ebenstein, Jacob.jpg Local man receives 12 1/2 years in DUI death of teen

    An entire courtroom on Thursday was moved to tears by parents who spoke of the loss of their 19-year-old son during a sentencing for the man who pleaded guilty in his death.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • City agencies dealing with gas leak

    From the Somerset Police Department:

    If you use East University Drive between KY 1247 and KY 39 or live in the area, your drive may be affected by a gas pipeline leak.

     

    April 17, 2014

News Live
AP Video
Raw: Fire Engulfs Tower Block in China Ocean Drones Making Waves in Research World Breakfast Foods Are Getting Pricier Raw: Ferry Captain Received Medical Treatment Hundreds Gather for Denver Pot Rally on Easter Transcript Reveals Confusion in Ferry Evacuation Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria
Facebook
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks