Appointing Interim County Manager Complicated Issue for Commissioners

By: Bergen Baucom Email
By: Bergen Baucom Email

Chipley- Public Safety Director David Corbin left Tuesday morning's special meeting unsure what his new temporary title was. "The best I can gather, point of contact" he said. His interim job description was equally unclear. "I don't know, it didn't get explained. We'll just have to take it, work with the board and see what we can work out."

But it was the board who muddied the water in the first place- unsure whether the candidate should become the interim county manager, or an interim point of contact. Furthermore, if Corbin was even the man to fill the nondescript job.

When his name was brought to the table as a candidate, Commissioner Lynn Gothard asked Corbin if he felt comfortable fulfilling the duties of interim County Manager.

Corbin replied that he had never in 30 years turned the board down when asked to do something, but Gothard pressed forward repeating the question.

Commissioner Todd Abbott said, "That's a terrible amount of pressure you're[Gothard] putting on that man [Corbin] right there. His qualifications are there, David is nothing but a people pleaser. His abilities go way beyond his job description. Y'all are putting him in a terrible position. He is a people pleaser the man can't sleep at night if something's left undone."

"Mr. Abbott " Gothard replied, "that's why I called him up here to ask him, did he feel like he could fulfill the duties and if he was interested in doing that. Since we put his name on the table, I wanted to make sure that was something he had considered, knowing that was an opening..."

"Mrs. Gothard" Abbott interjected, "I should not bring up anything, but, you have applied so much pressure to this man [Corbin] has filed a complaint against you. And you're bringing his name up here!"

Corbin was one of 12 other county employees who filed a complaint against Gothard. According to officials, the Florida Commission on Human Relations and the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have been investigating claims of sexual harassment and discrimination, bullying, and intimidation among others.

Gothard claims she is unaware of any lawsuits and said she did not know if or how many complaints were filed against her.

"I have never in my personal or professional life bullied, threatened or intimidated employees" she said.


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