Hiring process questioned

Published 8:54 pm Wednesday, October 12, 2005

By By MARY-ALLISON LANCASTER – Managing editor
The Brewton City Council meeting drew a capacity crowd Tuesday night when a number of residents attended the meeting to question the process used by the council to hire its new police chief.
Two weeks ago, the mayor and council unanimously chose Monte McGougin from a field of three semi-finalists that also included Donnie Nunley and Alex Glover. McGougin is Caucasian; Nunley and Glover are African-Americans. The council received 13 applications for the job and reviewed applicants' resumes before choosing the three candidates it later interviewed in a closed session three weeks ago.
Glover's mother, Rosie McBride, introduced three speakers who each questioned the council about the process used in selecting a new chief.
Diana Rowser, who is a former chair of the local Alabama Democratic Conference, a black political group, asked Councilwoman Ann Marie Sasser what kind of method was used to narrow down the candidates to the three finalists interviewed for Brewton's police chief.
Sasser said that she even went back two different times to look at each candidate. The applications were held in a safe in City Clerk John Angel's office. The mayor or the council had no prior knowledge of who the 13 candidates were until the &#8221narrowing down process“ began.
Rowser, who said she was not satisfied with the answers she was receiving, asked another question.
Mayor Ted Jennings said, &#8221I don't know any organization that brings in 13 applicants (to interview).“
Rowser was also dissatisfied that the job advertisement placed by the city did not state that the city was an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE). However, Ed Hines, city attorney, said he is &#8221not aware of any requirement (to advertise EOE)