Civil Service Commission Hearing

Meridian, Miss. The hearing for four members of the Meridian Civil Service Commission continued Friday.

Mayor Percy Bland attempted to remove four commissioners in February, all but the one he himself appointed. However, commissioners are entitled to a hearing first.

The hearing involves the commissioners, the mayor, city council, and numerous attorneys.

About two minutes after the hearing began, it was recessed while attorneys tried to reach a settlement. Soon after, all returned with the announcement that Civil Service Commission secretary, Gloria Kirby, had offered her resignation, which was accepted by the mayor.

But the other parties opted to move forward with the hearing for the four commissioners, who are being charged with violations related to a test for city employees and open meeting requirements.

One of the main issues brought forward is the alleged mishandling of a test for potential Human Resources employees on Jan. 3.

During employee tests, the fire chief, police chief and civil service secretary make up a grading board. That board may choose to curve the grading scale on tests, if it feels this is necessary, to create a list of eligible candidates.

On this particular test, none of the candidates passed.

It was decided that the scores should be curved. But that decision may not have been handled appropriately. Now attorneys and witnesses are working to find out who exactly is to blame.

No decision has been reached yet, but both the mayor and council must agree on the fate of the commissioners before they may be removed.

Officials say they hope to reach a final decision no later than Friday.

The meeting is being conducted in city council chambers, on the third floor of Meridian City Hall. It's open to the public.