Fayette County

Golf official suspended for time card issues, keeping boat in city building

Players drove golf carts at Tates Creek Golf Course in Lexington on Nov. 28, 2012.
Players drove golf carts at Tates Creek Golf Course in Lexington on Nov. 28, 2012. Pablo Alcala

A superintendent at one of Lexington’s five public golf courses was suspended for keeping his personal boat in a city building and for failing to monitor time cards of his employees, according to city records released this week.

Brian Bennett, golf superintendent at Tates Creek Golf Course, was suspended for 24 hours in late November after a review of more than 100 time cards in 2016 showed he failed to “monitor and correctly total time worked for employees under his supervision on several occasions,” according to a disciplinary action noted in Bennett’s personnel file.

Bennett was also suspended for 40 hours without pay in October 2016 for storing his boat in a city building and having “falsely reported the facts to supervisor.”

According to his personnel file, Bennett has worked for the city since April 1994. The Herald-Leader obtained a copy of Bennett’s personnel file through an Open Records Act request.

Bennett declined to comment.

The city and state labor officials confirmed in February there was an investigation into time card irregularities in the city’s golf operations.

General Services Commissioner Geoff Reed said the investigation involving Bennett and the problems with the time cards prompted the larger investigation. As General Services Commissioner, Reed oversees the city’s parks and recreation department.

“This started as an initial investigation of Mr. Bennett and has now grown into a bigger and more comprehensive review of time cards,” Reed said.

The city’s human resources department is conducting an audit of time card irregularities in golf operations. Kentucky Labor Cabinet officials have also confirmed they have an open investigation involving time cards and Lexington’s parks and recreation department.

Reed said Monday the human resources audit of time cards should be completed soon.

Reed said Bennett had kept his personal boat in a maintenance building at Tates Creek during the winter of 2016.

“He was working on the boat during off hours,” Reed said.

During peak season, the city’s golf department has an average of 104 full-time and seasonal employees. During golf’s off season — December to March — the number of employees drops to an average of 43, parks officials told Lexington council members on Jan. 31.

The city has been working for several years to increase revenues in its golf operations. The five public golf courses operate in the red. For the fiscal year that was just completed, golf operations operated at a more than $800,000 loss. But that’s an improvement from 2011, when golf’s losses climbed to $1.1 million.

Beth Musgrave: 859-231-3205, @HLCityhall