UPDATE: The Mayor’s office has confirmed that Debbie Fox will be stepping down as interim director of Louisville Metro Animal Services in April and will exclusively return to her post at MetroSafe effective “sometime in April.”
“This was part of the original plan,” says Rebecca Flesichaker, spokeswoman for Mayor Greg Fischer. “She was not supposed to stay interim director for very long.”
Fleischaker says the mayor’s office is currently conducting a search to replace Fox. After Fox leaves in April, the agency will be without a director, interim or not.
The original post follows below…
Rumors abound that Debbie Fox, the former MetroSafe Deputy Director tapped by Mayor Greg Fischer to replace former Louisville Metro Animal Services interim director Wayne Zelinsky, will soon be leaving her post as the agency’s “interim-interim“ director.
In an interview with LEO Weekly, Fox denied the rumor, saying that she would instead split her time between working at MetroSafe and MAS effective April 8.
“I’m going to go on an approved vacation and then come back and work half days (at MAS),” Fox says. “I’m not stepping down. I think we are moving on the right path, I’m just going to do both jobs at the same time.”
Fox says that her work with the shelter has progressed to the point that she can comfortably divide her time between both city departments.
Rebecca Fleischaker, a spokeswoman with the Mayor’s Office, was unsure about these developments and said she would contact LEO shortly to provide more information.
That is what we are working on. That was part of the original plan.
Earlier this year, Mayor Greg Fischer formed two panels to audit the embattled city animal control agency as well as to pick a full-time replacement, respectively. The former group, headed by Fischer-appointee Chief of Community Building Sadiqa Reynolds, has conducted a top-to-bottom audit of agency that is near completion. Sources close to MAS say that the nearly completed audit’s contents are “more horrifying than anything anybody could have imagined.” (Unless you’ve been reading LEO (zing!))
Longtime MAS watchdog Metro Councilman Kelly Downard, R-16, is a member of the director selection committee, and as such declined to comment for this story. He did confirm, however, that the audit will be released soon, potentially by the end of this week.
The selection panel has yet to recommend a replacement, and will begin reviewing applicants in early April.