Meridian, Miss. Several members from the public gathered at City Hall for a special meeting of the Civil Service Commission. The meeting, which lasted about an hour, focused on a variety of issues. It included discussing hearings of two former police officers, as well as operational problems in the absence of Secretary Gloria Kirby, a position that is much needed in the commission according to Chairman John Watts.
"The Civil Service Commission relies heavily on a full time civil service secretary and that help has been removed from the commission," said Watts. "It's difficult for us to operate and we are doing the best we can under the circumstances."
With Kirby being suspended in a classified position of the city, she can't go into her office where records are held and that's where the problem lies within the operation of the Civil Service. According to Attorney Bill Ready Jr. the position of the secretary is most important because without Kirby the Civil Service can't function.
"The problem that we have, that the City of Meridian has now is the fact that due to the mayors actions there is no Civil Service Commission Secretary," said Ready Jr. "Therefore the commission can't function without a secretary for testing or anything else."
Ready also commented on the fact that all appeals of his clients were put on hold until the commission is back in business, this includes former Police Officers Dean Harper and Don Hopkins.
"I did not see the need of putting any extra stress on my clients nor extra work on myself to prepare for appeals, when we have the issue of the Civil Service Commission being unresolved," said Ready Jr.. "So I suggested to Mr. Goggans that the thing to do would be to continue and put them all on hold pending the outcome of the Civil Service Commission."
City Attorney Michael Goggans says the commission hopes to have the Attorney General's opinion Tuesday. The next regularly scheduled meeting for the Civil Service will be Tuesday, March 11th and Ready Jr. said he will be in attendance to make sure nothing affects him or his clients.