Mabe hired as civic center director

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY, Ga. -- The city of Albany and former Valdosta conference center and tourism director Timothy Mabe have ironed out a deal that will make him the head of the Albany Civic Center, officials say.

After a long and controversial hiring process, Mabe and the city came to terms on his contract Monday, according the terms of his employment, which was obtained by the Herald Tuesday.

According to those documents, Mabe will receive a base salary of $85,000, which will be boosted to $88,000 per year when he successfully completes a six-month probationary period.

Mabe replaces former director John Mazzola, who resigned to take a job in Dodge City, Kan.

Mabe is the third candidate to be considered for the position.

The first person, who was never identified by the city, withdrew from consideration after the city discovered questionable statements on his resume and during his interview that conflicted with documented accounts from his previous employer.

When all of the subsequent candidates withdrew from consideration, the city was forced to restart the hiring process.

On the second go-round, City Manager Alfred Lott tapped State Theatre operator Lane Rosen as the top candidate for the position. But before negotiations were finalized with Rosen, the deal fell apart, reportedly because of two contested urine tests which Rosen said were returned as inconclusive.

Rosen contends that the way the city handled the drug testing was flawed and went against its own policy and said that Lott offered to allow Rosen to withdraw privately without mentioning the drug tests -- a claim Lott denies.

Rosen has threatened a lawsuit and, Tuesday, city officials confirmed the receipt of a letter from local attorney Bob Beauchamp written on behalf of Rosen requesting that the matter be resolved.

When Rosen was disqualified from consideration, Mabe, who had previously been a candidate, was re-interviewed and named as the top finalist for the position.