John Brenenstuhl, the new director of the Kennebec County Emergency Management Agency, has been on administrative leave since Aug. 14. Ashley Allen/Kennebec Journal file

AUGUSTA — Two months after Kennebec County’s emergency management agency director was put on administrative leave with pay, the reason why remains unclear.

There are no allegations of misuse of funds in the office, Scott Ferguson, Kennebec County administrator, said.

But Ferguson said he could neither say yes nor no to a question about whether any current or former staff member in that office was under investigation, citing state law that governs confidentiality of personnel records for county officials.

John Brenenstuhl was put on administrative leave on Aug. 14 — less than three months after starting the job — and has been working on special projects since then, Ferguson said.

Before coming to Kennebec County, Brenenstuhl and his wife, Alsina, were hired as emergency planners for the Piscataquis County Emergency Management Agency to update that county’s EMA plan as required by federal and state governments.

He filled the vacancy created when Art True, former Kennebec County EMA director, resigned.


While Brenenstuhl is on paid leave, the county has hired Sean Goodwin, who retired from the position in June 2022, to fill in as director on a part-time basis. His pay rate is $40 per hour.

Brenenstuhl’s salary is $75,000. He could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

The Emergency Management Agency is responsible for compiling, revising and updating the county’s all-hazard emergency response plan. It helps cities and towns with local disaster planning and, if needed, damage recovery efforts.

It also has a role in homeland security preparedness, which includes securing grant funding to pay for training and acquire equipment for local emergency response agencies.

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