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5 names top list for Morgan post

By Sheryl Marsh
smarsh@decaturdaily.com ∑ 340-2437

The Morgan County Community Corrections and Court Services Commission sifted through 20 applications to choose five people to consider for the community corrections director's post Friday.

Applicants making the final cut are: Trevia Echols Bell of Muscle Shoals, Angela Kane of Brownsboro, William Harris Turner of Hillsboro, Melanie Donaldson of Moulton and Kimberley Dawn Thurston of Hartselle.

Before making the selection, the commission disqualified 10 applicants, who they said did not meet minimum requirements.

The description for the job requires applicants to have a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, court administration, public administration, business administration or a closely related field, and one year of case management or rehabilitative work with offenders.

Circuit Judge Steve Haddock divided applications among the commission members to determine who met the requirements.

Haddock explained that the state Employment Service received the applications and forwarded them to the county's Human Resource Director Terry Nacarrato.

The judge said Nacarrato did not screen the applications because the director's job is not under the county's merit system. It is an appointed position by the Corrections Commission.

After the initial screening Friday, Haddock divided the applications of those who qualified and each member ranked the applicants based on education, experience and job stability.

Each member openly rated the applicants and came up with the top five.

Haddock explained that the group would have the option of interviewing five and if they did not select someone from the five, they could interview candidates from the other five.

Those applicants are: Kesha Ervin, Anita Flowers, Carla Malinda Kirkham, Rick Buckelew and Derryl Lynn Shimer.

Toward the end of the meeting, however, members mentioned not interviewing all of the top five applicants, but agreed to do so.

The commission asked Nacarrato to do background checks on each of the top five. The board will meet Nov. 30 to interview the candidates.

Pay for the job is between $50,000 and $56,000.

The new director will double as drug court administrator when the program starts.

The director's job opened in September when ex-director Alison Nix resigned under pressure.

A Daily investigation uncovered discrepancies in Nix's travel records. After she couldn't prove that she made certain trips for which she received mileage pay, Nix resigned. The commission ordered a $504 reduction from her final paycheck for four of the disputed trips.

Nix, of Lawrence County, had a bachelor's degree in justice studies from Athens State University. She was a probation officer there before becoming director of Morgan community corrections.

Top 5 candidates

The top five candidates for Morgan County Community Corrections director are:

Kimberley Dawn Thurston

Education: Bachelorís degree in criminal justice from Athens State University and masterís degree in justice and public safety from Auburn University.

Experience: Employed with Madison County Office of Alternative Sentencing and Release as court services coordinator. She is a certified court referral officer and has worked as a probation officer and drug court coordinator under the alternative sentencing program.

William Harris Turner

Education: Bachelorís degree in criminal justice from the University of North Alabama; pursuing a masterís degree in counseling psychology.

Experience: Employed with Three Springs of Courtland as a unit director. He also worked for Three Springs at Owens Crossroads as a program director.

Trevia Echols Bell

Education: Bachelorís degree in criminal justice from Athens State University and masterís degree in criminal justice from the University of North Alabama.

Experience: Employed with Morgan County System of Services as a court liaison/intake coordinator.

Melanie Donaldson

Education: Bachelorís degree in criminal justice from Athens State University.

Experience: Employed with Lawrence County Sheriffís Department. Worked as a state probation officer in Madison and Lawrence counties.

Angela Kane

Education: Bachelorís degree in management and counseling from Troy University.

Experience: Employed at Dillardís in Huntsville. Worked for the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections before moving here.

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