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Lawrence officials extend job offer
Accountant in line to become county administrator

By Nancy Glasscock
nglasscock@decaturdaily.com · 340-2443

MOULTON — Peggy Dawson, an accountant working for Lawrence County, will be the county’s administrator if she accepts the job.

In a unanimous decision Monday, the County Commission voted to offer Dawson the administrator’s job at an annual salary of $58,000.

The commission also voted to offer Dawson’s current job to Peggy Lanier King at a salary of $30,000. Commissioner John Terry, who cast the only vote against hiring King, said after the meeting that he wanted to offer the job to Vanessa Byars.

Byars is employed with Graves and Phillips Engineers in Decatur.

24 interviewed

Dawson, King and Byars were among 24 applicants interviewed by the commission Oct. 19 for county administrator. King runs Lanier Tax Service in Hillsboro with her mother.

Following the meeting, Dawson declined comment on the commission’s offer.

Commissioner Harold LouAllen said Dawson has worked long hours at the commission offices since the contracts of former Administrator Linda Harville and Assistant Administrator Karen Harrison were terminated in late September.

“(Dawson) has worked hard these past few weeks on helping us out and keeping our heads above water, and I feel like she’s done a good job,” LouAllen said.

Harville and Harrison were retiring, but the commission voted to terminate their contracts after FBI agents seized an illegal monitoring system installed in the commission office.

Harville and Harrison don’t deny they placed the system there, commissioners said.

A motion by Commissioner Mose Jones to offer Christine Garner the administrator’s job failed. Garner, who was also interviewed Oct. 19, is employed with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in Rogersville.

Jones said he recommended Garner because she has experience managing public money.

Before the decision to offer the job to Dawson, Commission Chairman Bradley Cross suggested choosing three or four of the most experienced applicants to interview again.

“We better be very careful of who we put in the administrator position,” he said. “We’re already shorthanded, and if we don’t put someone in there with some experience, we’re going to be back where we were.”

The commission didn’t follow Cross’ advice.

LouAllen said none of the applicants had significant experience in county administration.

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