Politics & Government

Lexington council administrator resigns

Urban County Council administrator Rebecca Langston resigned her post, effective Feb. 18, in a letter sent Monday to Vice Mayor Linda Gorton.

Her resignation follows the firing of two council staff employees on Jan. 27 by the Urban County Council. No reason was given for their termination.

Langston said she would take three days of pre-approved leave, so her last day on the job will be Tuesday.

Langston has held other positions in city government over the years, including public safety commissioner. According to city records, she was hired as council administrator on June 25, 2007, at an annual salary of $87,308.

Sixth District Councilman Kevin Stinnett said Tuesday he would be sorry to see Langston leave. She has done "a good job in what we've asked her to do," he said.

Her duties include overseeing the council staff and the day-to-day operations of the council office.

"I'm sad to see her go," Gorton said. "She is a very capable person, and it means we've got a lot of work to do so the jobs she performs get done."

Gorton was surprised at Langston's resignation, "but I knew in my heart she would go some day, long before I left office."

Langston has been thinking about retiring for a while, Gorton said.

A temporary council administrator will be appointed Thursday "so we have some continuity," Gorton said.

Calls to Langston seeking comment were not returned.

Council budget analyst Jerry Southers and council staff member Vicki Steele were fired Jan. 27 in a 10-5 vote of the council. Gorton said she had no reason to think the events were connected.

In response to a request under the Kentucky Open Records Act for information about any investigation of Southers and Steele, the city provided the Herald-Leader with several months' worth of time-card information for the two employees and documents showing when their electronic identification badges were used to enter and exit the government center.

There was no explanation of what the documents meant, and Gorton refused to discuss them.

Losing three of the council's five core staff people in a little more than two weeks is tough but presents an opportunity for the council to re-evaluate its staffing needs and ask if the positions need to be re-structured, Gorton said.

"There were lots of jobs Rebecca, Jerry and Vicki did that keep the office running that no one knows about," she said.

Gorton said she has asked Langston to make a list of what she does. "We're going to work real hard to get me up to speed."

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