Former KLC director admits some mistakes but not others

11/22/2010 07:10 PM

Nearly a year after state auditors found excessive spending and poor financial oversight at the Kentucky League of Cities, the organization’s director is saying she made mistakes, specifically in mishandling the withering media scrutiny.

Sylvia Lovely, who resigned amid news stories of the spending problems at KLC in the fall of 2009, has since started a consulting business, Sylvia Lovely and Associates. It’s aimed at helping businesses manage media firestorms and “reputational risk,” according to its website.

In a wide-ranging interview that aired Monday on Pure Politics, Lovely said she wanted a more thorough debate over whether KLC was a publicly-funded entity as the auditor and others have said. Lovely repeatedly insisted she ran the league as “a trade organization.”

But she repeatedly declined to say whether she thought KLC improperly spent tax dollars.

KLC serves Kentucky cities, who pay membership dues. Many also purchase their insurance through the League’s insurance pool and buy financing for construction projects through the organization. Only taxpayer-funded city entities can be members of the group.

Lovely responded to questions about this in her first extensive TV interview since stepping down last year. Part 1:

Part 2:

KLC recently hired Jon Steiner, who came from New Hampshire’s version of KLC, to be the new executive director. He started Nov. 2.

Click here to view the Herald-Leader’s investigation led by reporter Linda Blackford that prompted the state audit of KLC in 2009. (Full disclosure, Pure Politics host Ryan Alessi is a former Herald-Leader staff writer who wrote several of the KLC spending articles).

And you can see the state auditor’s summary of the report here.

Since stepping down at KLC, Lovely has done few interviews. Gabe Bullard of WFPL in Louisville interviewed her in late July.

Lovely, of Lexington, has been involved with several causes since leaving KLC. She is president of the Cervical Cancer Coalition, and has been volunteering to collect Appalachian stories and help C-students prepare for college.

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