Mayor wants Manuel out?

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 5, 2008

DEMOPOLIS &8212; Public Safety Director Jeff Manuel formally announced his resignation Thursday, but the drama surrounding his departure occurred earlier in the week.

Manuel, who has accepted a position as police chief at the University of West Alabama in Livingston, gave notice that his last day with the city would be June 20.

But at a personnel committee meeting earlier this week, Mayor Cecil P. Williamson raised the question of whether the city should go ahead and release Manuel.

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Yelverton expected the council would call an executive session Thursday to discuss the matter, but instead the council recessed until 8 a.m. Monday, when they will decide how best to find a police chief and/or public safety director.

But the city may not let Manuel work out his notice. Sources close to the situation say Williamson is the one pushing for Manuel to go sooner.

But Manuel said he didn&8217;t want his departure to be a bone of contention for the city.

Manuel said he will have some time off between his final day in Demopolis and his start date with UWA.

Council member Jack Cooley also expressed support for Manuel staying on and working through his notice, especially since the process of finding a new police chief is just beginning.