Saratoga County

Substance abuse council apologizes after resignation of director

The board of directors of the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention Council of Saratoga County has

The board of directors of the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention Council of Saratoga County has apologized for “mishandling” the recent resignation of its executive director, according to a statement issued Wednesday by the nonprofit.

Heather Kisselback resigned June 15, two days after news came out that she had been arrested and charged with drunken driving several months earlier in Ticonderoga.

It was the end of a convoluted process.

Kisselback first submitted her resignation immediately after her arrest, but the Prevention Council board rejected it, instead placing her on a six-month probation period with counseling. At the time, the board agreed that “helping people” was a “worthwhile goal” that should also apply to its own staff.

But community members wrote in to their local newspapers and commented online that by keeping her on staff, the council was setting a bad example to the children it encourages every day to choose healthy behaviors, like avoiding alcohol.

So three months after the incident and two days after the backlash, Kisselback submitted her resignation again and the board of directors accepted it.

“Our intent was to provide both compassion and continuity during a challenging fiscal climate,” the board said in a statement. “However, the situation demanded much greater communication between the board, staff, stakeholders and public. Going forward, we pledge to use these unfortunate circumstances as an opportunity for growth and learning. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding during this time of transition.”

The search for a new executive director has begun, with a search committee currently drawing up a job description to post on the council’s website.

Anyone interested in applying for the position should send a résumé and letter of intent to board Treasurer Michael Harman at [email protected]

“We hope to hear from a variety of skilled candidates whose vision and leadership credentials are a good match for the agency,” the statement continued. “In the meantime, please be assured that the quality work the Prevention Council has provided for more than 30 years remains unchanged, as does our genuine appreciation of your continued support.”

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