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Seniors Agency Director Under Fire

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Peggy Lee, executive director of the Area 12 Agency on Aging since 1993, is facing a move that could lead to her ouster.

The Area 12 Agency on Aging board of directors is made up of supervisors from Amador, Alpine, Calaveras, Mariposa and Tuolumne counties. It met yesterday to consider letting Lee go, Tom Mitchell, Calaveras County´s administrator, said Thursday.

Calaveras supervisor and agency board member Merita Callaway asked for the closed session to review Lee´s performance. Area 12 manages the senior nutrition programs in the five counties.

The board did not make any decisions but will continue the discussion at its next board meeting, June 3 in Amador County.

Lee, who had to wait in the hallway while the board met, said at one point the board´s attorney came out to ask her for a letter she received from American Express. Lee speculated the board was discussing her personal use of her American Express corporate account.

Lee said the card is for business expenses but sometimes she uses the card for personal uses since it´s on her credit and not the agency´s.

For example, she said she tried to use it to pay a senior´s way into a conference, but when they wouldn´t take it she paid with her own cash.

“The rest of the time I was there I used the American Express card for my expenses,” Lee said.

Most of the time her staff uses the card to buy supplies and equipment for the Linkages or Multipurpose Senior Services Program. Lee admits, “There are times when I use it for personal use and I pay it right back.”

Still, Lee isn´t even sure if that is what board members are concerned about. “It could be something else, too,” she said.

Lee said she´s talked to an attorney “about what Mrs. Callaway has talked to other people about, which is slander.”

“I don´t think I have anything to be threatened about except lies,” Lee said. “I´m not sure that they´re lies. I don´t know what they are.”

Lee said she would continue doing her job, representing seniors. “It´s not going to affect my work,” Lee said. “I cross my T´s and dot my I´s.”

Callaway could not be reached for comment.

Calaveras Enterprise story by Vanessa Turner. For more Calaveras news,