Twice-suspended park manager keeps fighting

A Kentucky state park manager says he is appealing two separate unpaid suspensions from the past year over allegations that he moved out of his park-owned home and that he allowed liquor to be sold at the park in violation of state law.

"It's all still under appeal," said Cary Lyle, 44, who makes about $62,000 a year as manager at Greenbo Lake State Resort Park in Greenup. "There's not much more I can say about it."

The state Parks Department ordered Lyle suspended without pay for two days in June because he allegedly failed to live in the park manager's residence, as required, and he allegedly turned that home over to his daughter, which resulted in parties on the premises that might have included underage drinking.

Two Greenbo Lake park rangers told the department that Lyle moved out in August 2009, according to state records. Parks Commissioner Gerry van der Meer advised Lyle in a letter this year that he must occupy the residence and be immediately available in case of emergencies at the park.

In a May 7 interview with parks officials, Lyle said he sometimes stayed at his fiancée's home and let his daughter and her boyfriend use the park manager's residence, but he denied knowing about any parties, according to state records.

On Monday, Lyle told the Herald-Leader that he later investigated the claim of under-age drinking at the park manager's residence and found it to be untrue.

The department ordered Lyle suspended without pay for 15 days in August 2009. According to state records, Lyle allowed liquor to be sold at Greenbo Lake as part of a fund-raising event he planned with his mother, Cora Hughes, to benefit a local arts group in which she was active. Greenbo Lake is in a dry county, which made the liquor sales illegal, the department told Lyle in his suspension letter.

State parks spokesman Gil Lawson said on Monday that he could not comment.

Lyle said he expects the state Personnel Board to overturn the suspensions soon and allow him to continue with his career. He said he has no plans to resign.