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Mountain Lake chief resigns

PORT HENRY - Mountain Lake Services is searching for a new executive director.

Dipanker "Dipu" Basu, who has been on administrative leave since August, resigned Sept. 23.

Mountain Lake Services officials have remained mum about the reasons for Basu being placed on leave.

In a prepared statement Sept. 23, the agency's board of directors said it will immediately begin a search for a new executive director.

The board also assured the community the agency is in good condition.

"Recognizing their duty to safeguard the public's interest in the agency, the board conducted a review of Mr. Basu's status and they have assured the agency that they found no concerns with the fiscal management or viability of the agency," the statement said. "They also found no issues impacting on the quality of services provided at Mountain Lake Services."

Beth McKenna has been acting director and will remain in the capacity while a search for a new director takes place.

"During this transitional period Beth McKenna continues as acting executive director," according to the statement. "Mountain Lake Services has a highly experienced executive management team, and directors of the agency have taken on new responsibilities to ensure there are experienced leaders to oversee all services of the agency."

Basu became executive director in 2001, after the death of founder Chuck Hayes. Basu had been associate director.

His annual salary as executive director is listed as $186,000 in public filings with the IRS. Basu's compensation, with benefits, is listed at $211,000.

Also placed on administrative leave in August was Mary Savage, the northern regional director for Mountain Lake Services. She remains on leave.

Headquartered in Port Henry, Mountain Lake Services works with more than 500 people with developmental disabilities throughout Essex County.

The agency is one of the county's leading employers with about 600 workers. It has an annual budget of about $35 million, most of it from state and federal sources.

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