Allegany County Social Services Commissioner placed on administrative leave

Allegany County Social Services Commissioner Edna Kayes has been placed on administrative leave for an unreported reason “until further notice.”

Allegany County Social Services Commissioner Edna Kayes, left, and Board of Legislators Chairman W. Brooke Harris
(File Photos)

County Board of Legislators Chairman W. Brooke Harris issued a statement at 2:12PM today that:

“ On Friday, July 21, 2023, Allegany County Commissioner of Social Services Edna Kayes was placed on administrative leave. Deputy Commissioner Donald Horan and Deputy Commissioner II Jennifer Bigelow are fulfilling the obligations of the Commissioner’s office until further notice.”

The statement, however, wasn’t released to the general news media until Allegany Hope Community News queried about its existence at 4:55PM today.

When asked as to who or what body of the county had undertaken the action, Public Information Officer and Clerk of the Board Brenda Rigby Riehle said she had no additional information and was forwarding our request to the Chairman of the Board, County Administrator Carissa Knapp and Personnel Officer Harold (Bobby) Budinger. No response has been received as of this writing.

Allegany Hope Community News simultaneously issued a Freedom of Information request for any county correspondence to Kayes in regard to the action.

Kayes, according to a Linkedin profile, has been the county commissioner since September 2019, following seven-and-a-half years of service as assistant director of services for the Steuben County Department of Social Services.

Prior to that she had served nearly 22 years as an Allegany County social services caseworker and senior caseworker.

In her original county position, along with her recent employment, she has been actively involved in child protective services advocacy, including moving the Child Advocacy Center to Allegany County when its umbrella organization in Cattaraugus County suddenly decided to drop the services.

The Commissioner’s position currently pays $93,450 annually.