Development Director Placed On Leave

Jun 6, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky.-- The Bluegrass Area Development District's board has placed the agency's executive director on administrative leave.

Lenny Stoltz II
Lenny Stoltz II

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported the board took the action against Lenny Stoltz II on Monday night after a three-hour meeting behind closed doors.

The board appointed assistant Executive Director David Duttlinger as interim leader of the Lexington-based agency that helps coordinate planning and federal spending in a 17-county area. Mayors and judge-executives in member counties make up its board.

Duttlinger declined to comment Tuesday on the reason Stoltz was placed on administrative leave.

Stoltz did not return a message from the newspaper seeking comment.

Duttlinger said there are no state or federal investigations of Stoltz or the agency that he is aware of.

Stephenie Steitzer, a spokeswoman for state Auditor Adam Edelen said Tuesday that the office was reviewing a complaint about Bluegrass ADD.

"As we do with all complaints that come through our office, we will take a look at the information and determine whether to proceed," Steitzer said. "We are not in a full-blown examination at this point."

The action comes as Stoltz and the agency have been involved in a controversy over plans for a residential work-training program for felons in Lexington.

Charles Payne, president of the River Park Neighborhood Association, said residents near the proposed project became after the agency refused to answer questions about the number of people who would be living at the facility and the intent of the program.

Meanwhile, the agency bought property for $600,000 and spent $500,000 to begin renovating some buildings on the land.

After the attorney general ruled the agency did not have the authority to set up the project, Bluegrass ADD put the property up for sale with an asking price of $1.17 million. It is still on the market.

Payne said he was surprised by the board's decision in the matter.

"Obviously the executive committee felt they had reasons. I would very much be interested in what those reasons were."