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Charlotte Area

Mecklenburg County: no record of short-lived job postings

http://66.225.205.104/LM20090416.mp3

Last month the county's hiring policies came under scrutiny for the way the Department of Social Services hired Samara Foxx, the wife of a Charlotte city council member for a $100,000 job. The position was only posted for one day. At that time, County Manager Harry Jones told the Charlotte Observer such short job postings are rare, but it had happened before. But there's apparently no record of that. WFAE requested proof that the county hired people after their positions were only posted a few days. We were told it would take at least a week to verify that. That stretched to three weeks. We were finally told the county can't document that it's ever happened. Still, County Manager Harry Jones stands by his statement. "With the knowledge that I have, with just the institutional memory that I have, there have been examples where there have been internal job postings of less than a week. But I can't provide for you specific examples today. But that has happened in the past," says Jones. Jones has said he gave Wilson approval to post the job for a shortened time on the county's website, but he did not realize it was only posted a day. He said he wouldn't have approved that. Wilson has since said she's learned her lesson. "I do think that is something I owe the county, the community and the staff at DSS an apology. When I came on board I really wanted someone I knew, that I could trust, that could give an assignment to, and they would understand it and they would go get it. I could have posted Samara's position for two or three weeks," said Wilson. The controversy prompted Mecklenburg County to revise its job-posting guidelines. The new rules require all positions to be posted for at least a week.