• December 21, 2014

Killeen official: Requirement that forced judge candidate to pull out listed on ad for post

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Posted: Thursday, January 16, 2014 4:30 am

A requirement that caused the candidate selected for Killeen’s next municipal judge to withdraw at the last minute was listed on the job description in the city’s advertisement for the position and discussed during the interview process, said Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Blackstone.

The Killeen City Council planned to make an appointment at its regular meeting Tuesday night, but the item was scratched from the agenda because the selected candidate couldn’t meet the requirement stating he attain full-time residency in Killeen within 180 days of hire.

Mayor Dan Corbin said the candidate was selected after a 4-3 vote during a closed meeting last week. He said the candidate, who lives in Waco, informed city staff Tuesday that he was unable to move to Killeen because his wife is a professor at Baylor University.

Blackstone confirmed the requirement was discussed during the interview process, but she couldn’t disclose any details because the interviews were conducted during a closed meeting.

“I will say that we will certainly find a good candidate for the position,” she said.

According to city documents, five candidates were interviewed last week by a committee composed of Blackstone, Councilmen Jonathan Okray, Wayne Gilmore and Steve Harris, City Manager Glenn Morrison, City Attorney Kathy Davis, current Municipal Judge William Gibson and Roshanda Smiley, the city’s director of human resources.

Two of the five candidates were chosen to move on to a second round during which all council members were present to form a consensus on who they saw as best suited for the role.

Hilary Shine, city spokeswoman, said an item regarding filling the position was placed on the council’s Tuesday workshop agenda for discussion.

The city began its search for a new presiding judge following Gibson’s announcement he was retiring after his tenure expires this month.

Gibson began serving as interim judge in June 2009 when Barbara Weaver retired, and he was appointed to the position by the council in December 2009.

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