John Brenenstuhl, recently hired director of Kennebec County’s Emergency Management Agency, has been placed on administrative leave with pay. It is unclear what prompted the action. Ashley Allen/Kennebec Journal file

AUGUSTA — The director of the Kennebec County Emergency Management Agency, John Brenenstuhl, has been put on administrative leave with pay.

On Tuesday, Kennebec County Administrator Scott Ferguson said he could not discuss details about what prompted the action, citing personnel reasons.

In the meantime, Sean Goodwin, the county’s longtime former EMA director, is serving as acting director on a part-time basis.

“We need a little more structure there,” Ferguson said.

During an administrative leave, an employee is relieved of normal administrative duties. In this case, Brenenstuhl will continue to be paid. His salary is $75,000.

Goodwin, who retired in June 2022, was succeeded by Art True, who had worked for EMA for about a decade in various capacities and had been deputy director under Goodwin.


True resigned in May. In his brief resignation letter, he said it was for the betterment of the county and the department, and for personal reasons.

Sean Goodwin has been named part-time acting director of Kennebec County’s Emergency Management Agency after the current director was placed on administrative leave. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file

Brenenstuhl, 44, was hired in June following a search. He had most recently been a planner in the Piscataquis County EMA office.

Brenenstuhl has spent his entire career either in fire or emergency medical services, starting as a volunteer firefighter in his hometown of Poestenkill, New York, before moving on to fire departments in Albany, New York, and High Point, North Carolina.

He could not be reached for comment.

The county Emergency Management Agency provides resources during emergencies such as floods and widespread power outages and technical support to local emergency responders through training and planning emergency preparedness exercises, among other things.

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