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Lee County Deputy Safety Director Kim Dickerson retires in the wake of Medstar scandal

Oct. 6, 2012


Lee County’s deputy public safety director resigned Friday as the fallout from Medstar, the county’s medical flight program, made its way down the ranks.

Deputy Public Safety Director Kim Dickerson became the second emergency services administrator to abruptly depart the county in as many weeks. Her boss, former director John Wilson, left a week earlier.

Commissioner Frank Mann said he discussed Dickerson’s resignation with County Manager Karen Hawes after learning about it through news reports.

“I called Karen Hawes who said she (Dickerson) has resigned for a combination of reasons,” Mann said. “I guess she had her necessary years in so she was eligible for retirement.”

Dickerson did not answer calls Saturday.

The 53-year-old was a 17-year veteran of county’s EMS. Starting as a paramedic in 1982, she left the county for 13 years and returned in 2005, according to her personnel file.

Dickerson was promoted to deputy director in 2010, earning a salary of $95,000, according to her personnel record.

Hawes made no mention of Dickerson’s resignation in an email she sent to commissioners Friday. She did not return calls Saturday.

In the email, Hawes faults “public safety directors” for not telling her or other higher-ups about Medstar’s problems.

Pick up a copy of The News-Press on Sunday to read more about Dickerson's resignation.

12:50 p.m.

Lee County Deputy Safety Director Kim Dickerson has resigned from her position, according to an email sent to all Lee County Public Safety personnel Saturday morning.

Deputy Chief of Operations Scott Tuttle wrote in the email that Dickerson had retired effective Friday, Oct. 5.

"She served our community with dedication for decades. Please join me in wishing her the best in the future," Tuttle wrote.

Dickerson had been on paid leave since Sept. 28, the same day her boss Public Safety Director John Wilson announced his departure following revelations the county mismanaged its Medstar medical flight program.

Dickerson and Wilson were in charge of the county's troubled Medstar program, which was suspended in August. At the time, Wilson and Dickerson claimed they grounded the county's medical helicopters to seek an obscure accreditation from an out-of-state organization.

That contention, however, became irrelevant after it was revealed Medstar had failed to meet federal safety mandates and violated federal rules by billing for about">$3.3 million in medical flights.

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