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No progress in chief search

DEMOPOLIS &8212; A measure to move the city&8217;s search for a new police chief into executive session failed Monday when a council member objected because all council members were not present.

After Mayor Cecil P. Williamson moved for the closed-door session, Melvin Yelverton voted no &8212; because council member Jack Cooley was not present.

Cooley is a member of the public safety committee, which oversees the police and fire departments. Yelverton&8217;s &8220;no&8221; blocked the proceedings from continuing.

With the option to move into executive session forestalled, Williamson moved to recess until 8 a.m. Wednesday.

The mayor said the city would likely seek an interim chief from inside the department until after the municipal elections later this summer.

Williamson&8217;s position echoes that of Cooley, who commented shortly after Manuel&8217;s impending resignation was announced during an executive session.

The council will have at least two new faces on board after the municipal elections. Councilmen Woody Collins and Charles Moore are not running for re-election.

Public Safety Director Jeff Manuel said he was not sure who the council was looking at as an interim chief.

The council is looking at the four sergeants in the department as possible interim replacements for Manuel, Yelverton said.

They are Tim Williams, Tim Soronen, Brady Tew and Tommy Johnson.

Williamson said the council needs to move quickly to name an interim chief.