Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes today called for a temporary leave of absence for Kevin Bannon, the Executive Director of the Mercer County Park Commission, as an inquiry by the Office of the State Attorney General regarding the Mercer County Park Commission and the non-profit Friends of Mercer County Parks develops.
“Given the public allegations regarding leadership at the park commission, I think it is best that Mr. Bannon be put on a temporary 30-day leave with pay and Mr. Bannon has volunteered to do so,” the county executive said. “I believe the attention surrounding the Attorney General’s inquiry is a distraction to the fine work that goes into our award winning parks, and Kevin Bannon shares my sentiment.”
The Park Commission executive director position is under the purview of the Park Commission board, and appointments are made through a board approval via resolution. The county administration does not have jurisdiction or power over the process. As a result, Mr. Hughes on Friday called on Park Commission President Drew Worek to begin the process to put the director on leave pending further information. Mr. Bannon has been with the Parks Commission since 2004.
Added Mr. Hughes, “I reiterate my pride the Mercer County park system and I have full faith that the organizations will fully cooperate in this investigation. We will reevaluate this decision in 30 days and move forward from there.”