City Council Questions Civil Service Secretary's Removal

The decision of which hearing officer will preside over the hearing of four civil service commissioners has been made, but now a new issue needs to be settled. Councilman Dustin Markham says the city has not yet followed proper procedures for removing civil service commission secretary Gloria Kirby.

"We don't need to remove her out of her job until there's a hearing."

The secretary has many of the same protections as the commissioners under Mississippi code. According to Markham, the council has received an attorney general's opinion which states that as with the commissioners, Kirby is to hold her position until she also receives written notification of her charges and is officially removed in a hearing.

"Civil Service commissioners hold their seats until they have a hearing. Ms. Kirby, technically, is still the appointed Civil Service secretary until her charges are preferred to her in writing and there's a hearing conducted based on her removal."

The mayor and city attorney said they had not yet received a copy of that a-g opinion, but will send Kirby the appropriate notification. Because the secretary is both an appointed position by the civil service commission and a city employee, that puts her in a unique hybrid role. City attorney Michael Goggans says each of those positions has distinct guidelines for removal.

"The administration took the position that they could remove her from the city portion of that without affecting her duties as an appointed civil service secretary."

This also brings about the question of whether she will be allowed to retrieve the necessary files for the April 3 hearing. The city would like to set Kirby's hearing date for April 3, also, but are awaiting confirmation from her attorney.