Audit Finds Insufficient Oversight Of Executive Benefits On Mental Health Board

Dec 20, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. - State Auditor Adam Edelen released a report Thursday detailing problems with executive compensation on the Bluegrass Regional Mental Health – Mental Retardation Board.

The audit found that top administrative staff at the non-profit mental health agency were awarded over $2.8 million dollars in executive benefits since 1997 at the discretion of the President/CEO with no oversight by board members. The report also notes that many mental health professionals haven’t received raises since 2009.

"Certainly what we've seen as of late out of the Bluegrass Mental Health - Mental Retardation Board was a place where it seems like high executive salaries were valued more than more of as living wage for the people who actually do the work," Edelen says.

The agency manages Eastern State Hospital in Lexington and Oakwood in Somerset. The audit also calls on the Bluegrass Mental Health Department to refund the Commonwealth $300,000 for a house it purchased in Somerset for staff working at the Oakwood facility.

The board chairman has promised to study the report and begin discussions about creating an internal auditor position.