ALBANY --Without mentioning why he wanted to leave Albany, Deputy Police Chief Nathan Clark interviewed with a Columbus, Miss., newspaper Saturday about a police chief's job there.
Clark, one of five finalists for the Mississippi job, has refused numerous requests by phone and through Albany police spokeswoman Phyllis Banks for an interview with The Albany Herald.
In his interview with The Commercial Dispatch, Clark explained a previous dismissal from a police chief position with Pine Bluff, Ark., in 2002. He also gave high marks to his fellow Albany officers and the city.
According to the interview in The Commercial Dispatch, Clark was fired "due to allegations against him of sexual harassment." In response, Clark filed a lawsuit in federal court against the city for racial discrimination.
In The Commercial Dispatch interview, Clark said his dismissal from the Pine Bluff department was "rescinded and his record was cleared." Clark also said that his litigation was "dropped."
The Commercial Dispatch report followed through with a confirmation of Clark's remarks by a current Pine Bluff alderwoman.
The issue of pay was raised in The Commercial Dispatch report, but Clark wouldn't go into that issue or other factors that led him to seek the job in Columbus, Miss. Albany is more than three-times as populated as the Mississippi city, which had a 2010 census population of 23,640.
"The Columbus police chief position pays a salary between $70,000-$75,000 annually," the newspaper reported. According to city human resources records released by Albany City Attorney Nathan Davis, Clark receives $89,495 in salary as deputy chief of the Albany Police Department.
In The Commercial Dispatch interview, Clark said, "Finances are important, but sometimes it's not all about finances. That's a factor, but sometimes you have to weight other factors." Clark didn't detail other factors.
Clark had nothing but good words for his fellow officers and the city in the published interview.
Clark said he had enjoyed working in Albany and "can't say anything but good things about the city I reside in now. Columbus is, in my mind, a progressive city. Being mindful that the Albany Police Department and the citizens of Albany are good to me. They have allowed me the opportunity to serve. I'm blessed that God has allowed me the opportunity to cross paths with the citizens of Albany."
The full The Commercial Dispatch interview and story are available at the paper's website, www.cdispatch.com/.