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New HR director for county chosen
Jeff Pogue

The county announced the selection of the new Human Resources Director on Monday morning.

Jeff Pogue was introduced at the Board of Commissioners work session by Janet Rutledge, who has been serving as interim human resources director.

Pogue, who currently resides in Chattanooga, Tenn., said he was going to do the very best he could for the employees and citizens of Rockdale and was looking forward to the challenge.

"I'm not a newcomer to politics, so I understand the nuances. But I've also got 33 years in human resources, so we're going to be drawing on that. I'm not going to try and reinvent the wheel, but we're going to try and fix the things that need to be fixed and continue or improve the things that are working," said Pogue. He added that he and his wife were already looking for a place to move to in Rockdale County.

He described his background as the chief human resources official with manufacturing companies across the southeast, the personnel/office manager for the city of Chattanooga's 600-employee public works department and as a consultant in human relations, employee relations and labor relations. Pogue said he received a Master's degree in industrial/organizatonal psychology from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Rutledge described the four-month search and interview process for the new director. The department employed the help of a consultant, Keiko Humphries of Humphries Consulting, Inc., to guide the process and help winnow down 160 applicants to nine semi-finalists. Those semi-finalists were brought in to be reviewed by a first panel of four interviewers - Commissioner Oz Nesbitt, Commissioner JaNice Van Ness, Janet Rutledge, and Fire Chief Cedric Scott.

The two finalists that were chosen took an aptitude test, said Rutledge, and gave a presentation for a second panel of interviewers - Rockdale County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Rob Cordero, Director of the Recreation and Maintainence department David Smith, Rockdale Water Resources Director Dwight Wicks and BOC Chairman Richard Oden.

Pogue will receive a salary of $85,000 annually as the HR director for Rockdale County, which has more than 800 employees.

Former Director Arthur Reese resigned in June, right after the deputy director, Chris Corey, was fired and arrested for charges in Cobb County from his time with the city of Smyrna for allegedly misusing government purchase cards in thousands of dollars of personal purchases.