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Suncoast AIDS Network director is put on leave

Published Oct. 1, 2005

The executive director of the Suncoast AIDS Network was placed on administrative leave Tuesday, though board members were tight-lipped about why.

Cinde Cortelyou, director of training, was appointed acting executive director, taking over for Robert Eledge, who held the position about two years, said Sister Nora Shively, president of the board. According to John Heilman, director of the Pinellas County Health Department, which helps fund the organization, "What happened had something to do with the relationship between Mr. Eledge and the board," he said. "There was an unsatisfactory performance review involved."

Reached at home Tuesday afternoon, Eledge said he was "pretty much in the dark about all of this."

Suncoast AIDS Network distributes more than $3-million in federal, state and local funds to various AIDS organizations in eight counties, including Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco. With nine employees, the organization indirectly provides treatment or counseling to 2,500 patients quarterly, Shively said.

"We're not concerned about the viability of the company or anything like that," Melissa Beaupierre, vice president of the board, said when asked what prompted the personnel change. Still, "the board is looking into issues that need to be taken care of."