Embattled St. Joseph society hires new director - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Embattled St. Joseph society hires new director

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The St. Joseph Catholic Orphan Society has hired a veteran state employee with experience working with children as executive director of the nonprofit agency.

Grace C. Akers, who has worked for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services since 1990, will replace Pamela Cotton, who resigned earlier this year. Cotton was a polarizing figure in a legal battle over control of the organization best known for a fundraising picnic each summer at its Frankfort Avenue campus.

A news release issued on behalf of the children’s home said Akers’ “leadership and long-time service to children in crisis throughout Kentucky will be such an asset to St. Joe’s residential treatment, foster care and adoption programs.”

Akers did not immediately return a message, left with a St. Joseph’s spokeswoman, seeking comment. A message also was left for Akers with a state Cabinet spokeswoman.

The society oversees the St. Joseph Children’s Home, which now includes residential treatment, foster care and adoption placements and a child development center.

A group of longtime society members who claim to be the rightful board members filed a lawsuit last year in Jefferson Circuit Court, alleging they were improperly removed from their positions by a faction of the board now in control.

The lawsuit is pending in Jefferson Circuit Court.

A message seeking comment was left with the attorney representing the board members who filed the lawsuit.

Akers is expected to join St. Joseph in August, according to the news release.

Previous WDRB.com stories:

Archbishop drawn into legal battle involving St. Joseph's Orphan Society

Trustee remained on St. Joseph’s board despite removal recommendation in 2008

Pam Cotton resigns as director of St. Joseph society

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