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Fire Chief, HR director candidates short listed
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The search for the new fire chief and county human resources director has been narrowed down to a short list of three candidates each.

At the Board of Commissioners evening work session Tuesday, Commissioner Oz Nesbitt asked for an update on the two searches. HR Deputy Director Doris Patterson reported that the three top candidates had been presented to Chairman Richard Oden for each search.

Oden said in response, "I have interviewed. I will be getting my results to the HR department in a couple days."

If the BOC votes on candidates by the July 26 BOC meeting, the names of the finalist for each position would have to be released to the public at least 14 days before a vote, or July 12. By state law, finalists have the option of withdrawing their name before that 14 day period.

The field of applicants had been reviewed and some interviewed by a panel for each search. However, the names of the panelists would not be released until the final vote on candidates, according to Community Affairs Director Erica Fatima.

According to Chief of Staff Greg Pridgeon, the concern was that the volunteer panelists, particularly those outside the county, were not made aware their names could be released to the public or may not have notified their employers of their involvement.

For the fire chief search, at least two fire officials outside the county and a human resources professional served on the panel. For the HR director search, at least two human resources professionals not with the county served on the panel as well a local constitutional officer and a county human resources employee. All served on a voluntary basis and were not paid consultants, said Pridgeon.

He pointed out that having a review panel was an additional step in the hiring process that the county was not required to do but chose to do.

Previous Fire Chief Cedric Scott left at the end of April for a deputy fire chief position in Savannah. Joel Yoder was named interim chief and Daniel Morgan named interim deputy chief.

Previous HR Director Jeff Pogue resigned April. A 2010 performance review obtained under an Open Records request cited a failure to keep confidential information, among other things.


In other BOC business:

Rockdale County Sheriff's Office Lt. Myra Pearrell presented information on a Byrne/JAG grant of about $31,000 awarded to the Sheriff's Office this year. The grant, which does not require a local match, would be used for mobile digital video cameras on motorcycle units, mobile radios on motorcycle units, and a mobile booster or repeater to allow for better communication in an incident area. About $1500, or 5 percent, of the awarded grant would go to the finance department to defray costs of staff time spent on the grant.