Audit examines spending at Ky. mental health agency

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - A Lexington-based agency that provides mental health services in 17 Kentucky counties is prospering in tough economic times. And its top executives are being well compensated.

The Lexington Herald-Leader ( ) reported that the Bluegrass Regional Mental Health-Mental Retardation Board's budget doubled over the past six years to $176 million as it expanded and won more state contracts.

The newspaper found in a review that four of the agency's top executives collected a total of nearly $2 million in 2010 from all forms of compensation, including one-time deferred compensation payments that totaled $1.1 million.

The agency also spent at least $486,000 to retain four lobbyists at the state Capitol and bought a 295,000 home near Lake Cumberland for its "senior management team" to use while working in Somerset.

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