ADICA to meet with executive recruiter next week

ALBANY -- The board of trustees for the Albany Dougherty Inner City Authority will meet next week with a corporate headhunter in charge of finding their next executive director, officials said.

ADICA has been without a permanent director since former CEO Don Buie was fired following an investigation revealing what City Manager Alfred Lott said was gross mismanagement of the authority's finances.

Buie later pleaded guilty to charges related to the investigation and was jailed, with Assistant City Manager James Taylor taking over day-to-day operations of the agency on an interim basis.

During a special, called meeting Monday to approve a bond refinancing for the Dougherty County Commission, Taylor told the board that officials with the Mercer Group, the agency handling the recruiting on the next director, would be in town to meet with the board next Monday.

Officials with Mercer Group will meet with other local officials. Board member Robert Kraselsky asked that the board be involved in every phase of the process.

"I have already expressed a desire to be a part of all discussions," Kraselsky said. "I would like to know who they are meeting with and when so I can attend."

The investigation into Buie's actions prompted wide-ranging changes to the way the authority does business including new financial controls, enhanced security measures and protocols and increased use of city personnel, including financial staff and the city attorney.

Those measures were implemented again Monday as the board approved paying $12,000 to local government auditor Mauldin & Jenkins for their Fiscal year 2008 audit. The new controls limit the director's ability to spend the authority's money, requiring board approval of any purchase more than $500.

The audit is a direct result of Buie's final year at the helm of the agency.

Buie remains housed at the Dougherty County Jail, serving out an agreed upon sentence that was part of plea agreement with prosecutors.