Florida GM On Ice Over E-Mails?

Ryan Dettra, general manager of St. Augustine Amphitheatre in Florida, was placed on paid leave June 11 by St. Johns County, which owns the venue.

A public affairs specialist for the county has declined to say why he was placed on leave or if he will return.

“The county is in the fact-finding stage right now, and we’ll come to a conclusion once everything has been evaluated,” county spokeswoman Karen Pan told the St. Augustine Record. In the meantime, Dettra’s duties are being covered by other venue staff.
While the county is staying mum, the Record was able to contact Dettra – who isn’t saying much more.

“I don’t believe I’m allowed to talk about that,” Dettra told the paper. “But I want to say it [being placed on leave] didn’t have anything to do with me doing anything immoral or illegal.”

However, the Record also reports that three days before he was placed on leave, Dettra sent an e-mail to six St. Johns County employees in which he harshly criticized county administrator Michael Wanchick.

The June 8 e-mail reportedly criticizes Wanchick for his handling of finances, including an alleged $30,000 payment to a construction firm that did no work, on the still-delayed Ponte Vedra Concert Hall project.

“It is under [Wanchick’s] guidance that we have a project that has tripled in cost,” the Record quoted the e-mail as saying. “It is under his direction that we are spending taxpayer dollars to solicit private funding through our friends of the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall Board.”

Dettra in his e-mail also reportedly criticizes the county for not awarding the construction contract to the lowest bidder, then paying the company for work that allegedly was not done and that forced the project’s delay.

Dettra could not be reached by Pollstar for comment.