Out to lunch, out the door

By MELISSA ARNOLD State Journal Staff Writer Published:

A top state health official quit his position at a time several of his staff were being investigated for drinking too much at lunch, filing false time sheets and misusing the Internet.

Sam Burnette, a division director in the Cabinet for Health Services, resigned July 18.

Subsequently, disciplinary actions were taken against five employees: Kim True, an environmental health supervisor; Brian Bell, environmental health inspector program evaluator; and administrative specialists, Melissa Brewer, Beverly Stokes and Jennifer Cohorn.

The five, all in the Cabinet's Public Health Protection and Safety division, denied wrongdoing in interviews with The State Journal and claim they were singled out for what everyone does. Three are appealing the disciplinary actions.

Documents obtained by The State Journal through Kentucky's Open Records law contain the investigation's findings, personnel files of some of the employees involved and correspondence between them and Marcia Morgan, cabinet secretary for Health Services.

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