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Ky. emergency management chief resigns; blistering audit finds $5.6M in questionable spending

Kentucky's emergency management chief has resigned after a blistering audit said those within his agency wasted taxpayer money, intimidated employees and created a hostile work environment.

Gov. Steve Beshear says he accepted John Heltzel's resignation Thursday.

It came two days after state Auditor Adam Edelen released the review that found $5.6 million in questionable spending in recent years, some of it on alcohol and entertainment at conferences.

Edelen says current and former agency employees described an environment that discouraged them from reporting waste, fraud and abuse.

Beshear said the audit makes it clear that new leadership was needed at the agency that oversees Kentucky's response to weather disasters.

Heltzel — a retired Kentucky National Guard brigadier general — disputed the audit findings that are being turned over to the U.S. Office of Homeland Security

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