Supervisors seek new county administrator

Published 6:49 pm Tuesday, January 3, 2023

NATCHEZ — By a three to two vote, the Adams County Board of Supervisors voted to fire County Administrator Angie King.

In the board’s first meeting of 2023, Supervisors Wes Middleton, Kevin Wilson and Angela Hutchins voted to not reappoint King as county administrator.

King was hired from her previous role as the county’s comptroller to fill the county administrator post vacated by Joe Murray when he retired in August 2020.

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Supervisors said they will advertise for candidates for the county administrator’s post. During the interim, the county administrator’s duties will fall on Chancery Clerk Brandi Lewis’s shoulders. The supervisors also unanimously appointed Chike Martin, the county purchasing clerk, to the county comptroller’s position.

Supervisors Ricky Gray and Warren Gaines, the only two supervisors to vote in favor of King’s reinstatement, defended her during Tuesday’s meeting.

King had worked both as the comptroller and as the county administrator — they pointed out — initially without payment for the comptroller position until the supervisors realized this in April 2022 and unanimously decided to compensate her for working both positions.

Instead of hiring someone else to do the job, King’s salary had been increased from $84,000 to $110,000 per year. The two supervisors chalked up unspecified mistakes made by King in her county administrator’s position to human error brought on by the stress of having multiple jobs.

“I really was caught off guard this morning with the county administrator deal,” Gray said. “I had no idea what was going on and I know we had some problems with quite a few of our employees. I was caught off guard by the magnitude of work that we put on this young lady from being the county administrator to trying to be the human resources person when they were out (and) comptroller and having two people out that were in that office and she still had to do all that work. I understand nothing is perfect and nobody is perfect. People make mistakes.”

However, Middleton pointed out that King stated when the board agreed to give her the raise that she could do both jobs.

“As I was serving as board president, I’ve dealt with a lot of phone calls that I think a lot of people on the board did not get,” he said. “We’ve had recurring personnel issues because of things going on in the county. … I didn’t like the direction this county was headed. … As a supervisor, you have to make hard decisions and this is one of them.”

Hutchins said she bases her decision to not reappoint King on information that was presented to the board in an executive session, which is not open to the public or media.

“Based on the information that has been shown to us during a previous executive session, I was able to make a definitive decision on my vote. I am not allowed to share this information that has been brought to all board members during executive session,” Hutchins said.

In other matters during Tuesday’s meeting, the supervisors appointed Tony Heidelberg as the new Adams County Prosecutor to replace Carmen Brooks Drake, who has been elected to serve as Sixth District Circuit Court Judge.

The supervisors voted to appoint Gaines as the board president and Wilson as the vice president and reappointed Scott Slover as the board attorney, Robbie Dollar as the road manager and Darryl Smith as the volunteer fire coordinator and fire inspector.