Louisville Metro Animal Services interim director Wayne Zelinsky has resigned.

The announcement comes weeks into a review of the department ordered by Mayor Greg Fischer.

For more than a year, LMAS has been the target of criticism. Zelinsky became interim director after former director Gilles Meloche resigned amidst allegations of mistreatment of animals and improper behavior. Zelinsky has been named in lawsuits brought by employees, and is also under investigation by the police public integrity unit.

Deputy director of MetroSafe Debbie Fox will be the new interim director of LMAS. She will serve until April, when a permanent director is appointed.

WFPL will have more on this story this afternoon. Mayor Fischer will speak about the matter at a 1:00 press conference.

Below is the announcement from Fischer’s office.

Mayor Greg Fischer today named Debbie Fox as the new interim leader of Metro Animal Services, following the resignation of Director Wayne Zelinsky.

Fox, currently Deputy Director of MetroSafe, will oversee animal control for the city while the Fischer administration conducts a national search for a new full-time director and completes a top-to-bottom review of Animal Services.

Fox will remain in the new role until April, when Fischer plans to name a permanent director for Animal Services. She was named Communications Center Director of Year in 2010 by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials.

“Debbie is a solid leader who has been nationally recognized and has a proven track record in customer service,” Fischer said. “I’m confident that she will effectively manage Animal Services during this transition period.”

Last month, Fischer named a committee to audit Animal Services and a separate committee to search for a new leader. The review and search are being overseen by Sadiqa Reynolds, Chief of Community Building for the city. Applications for the Director of Animal Services are being accepted until Feb. 14.

Zelinsky submitted his resignation, effective immediately, this morning.

Here is the story from WFPL:


The embattled director of Louisville Metro Animal Services has resigned.

Wayne Zelinsky had been interim director since Dr. Gilles Meloche stepped down amid accusations of mistreating animals and employees. Zelinsky was also controversial. He is named in two lawsuits and was allegedly operating an adult-themed entertainment business online. Zelinsky resigned after being confronted about the business.

“We advised Wayne [Tuesday] night that we were aware of a website that he had up and running and needed to discuss that with him and he came in [Wednesday] morning and resigned,” says Mayor Greg Fischer.

Last month, Fischer ordered a full review of LMAS and launched a national search for a new director. He said then he would keep Zelinsky in charge of the department, unless the auditors recommended otherwise. Fischer says the search for a permanent director will continue, though he’s not sure about the progress of the audit.

“You know, I make it a matter not to really get in the middle of audits while they’re going on because they start and then you never know what they’re going to find out. They’re hard at work right now. We’ll get a report on it at the end of the first quarter. We’re progressing with the audit, that’s all I know at this point,” he says.

Zelinsky will be replaced by current MetroSafe deputy director Debbie Fox. A permanent director will be named in April.

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