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Candidate scrapped for civic center director

ALBANY, Ga. -- A more intense background check has eliminated a candidate applying to be the city's next civic center director and prompted city officials to move forward and give a second interview to the next person on the list.

While Assistant City Manager Wes Smith wouldn't say what specifically was discovered nor would he identify the candidate, Smith did say that the decision not to consider the candidate came after information surfaced when the city performed a more thorough background check.

"There were some things that came up as we checked his past that suggested that he likely wouldn't be the best fit for the position," Smith said. "So now we've decided to bring another candidate in for a second round of interviews, and we'll begin looking at their background this week."

With one candidate now out of the picture, the city has whittled down the list of original applicants to the point where only three remain.

While city officials have provided The Herald with the sex and race of the candidates as provided by Georgia law, they have not identified any of the candidates by name.

Those left for consideration are two white males and one white female, according to city documents.

Each is seeking to replace former Civic Center Director John Mazzola, who resigned his position earlier this year to accept a job in Dodge City, Kan.

Smith said the next candidate on the list will be interviewed Sept. 9.

The increased scrutiny doled out by the city in this search comes as the city is trying to prevent another scenario like that of former downtown manager Don Buie, where, only after he was hired and years into his job, was it discovered by local reporters that Buie had a previous bank fraud conviction in a federal court in Maryland.

That conviction was missed by the headhunter hired by the city to fill that position.