Editor’s note: Lynn Wisehart is the wife of Michael Broihier, editor of The Interior Journal.
STANFORD — Incoming Lincoln County Judge-Executive Jim Adams has replaced recently returned Afghan War veteran Lynn Wisehart as the county Emergency Management director.
Adams met with Wisehart last week and told her that she would be replaced after the New Year by Lincoln County Chief Deputy Don Gilliam.
Wisehart was appointed to the position after the tumultuous departure of longtime director Winford Todd in the wake of the ice storm of 2009.
Wisehart, who served on active duty in the Marine Corps from the ranks of private through captain, transferred to the reserves when her family moved to Kentucky to farm in 2005. Now a major, she was recalled to active duty last November to serve with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade and then the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. She was decorated for meritorious service in Afghanistan before being released from active duty three weeks ago.
County Attorney Daryl Day said Adams consulted him to find out if Wisehart’s employment was protected under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act and Kentucky Revised Statute 61.373 that guarantee veterans returning from active duty their jobs back.
Both USERRA and KRS 61.373 say employees returning from active duty may not be denied re-employment, but it doesn’t apply to appointed positions.
“I told him that under the law he had the right to fire her and hire whoever he wants,” Day said.
Wisehart said, “He was very nice about it, but he said he wanted someone in the position that he was comfortable with. I understand, it’s an appointed position.”
Gilliam, who was Adams’ recommendation for the position back in 2009, is in an interesting position taking the job, because in late October, he said in a paid advertisement supporting Sheriff Curt Folger for re-election that he and his brother Dan Gilliam weren’t quitting the department.
“We are not leaving Curt after the election!” the ad said.
So far, Adams has only replaced one other person, a part-time secretary in the judge-executive’s office, with an employee from his auto parts business in Crab Orchard.