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Landis advertises for vacant finance officer position

LANDIS — The town is advertising its open finance officer position, vacated when Ginger Gibson resigned at the start of a State Bureau of Investigation probe into possible embezzlement.

Gibson’s resignation coincided with that of former Town Manager Reed Linn. Both Linn and Gibson are suspected of taking home substantially more than the compensation officially approved by the Board of Aldermen, according to salary records released by the town in March.

According to W-2 forms, Linn made $286,541.10 in 2018 when his approved salary was $69,077. Gibson made $216,168.66, but she was approved for only $58,937 in 2018.

Gibson and Linn resigned in February.

Now, the position of finance officer is open to any interested applicants.

“We would like to give some individual a good position,” said Mayor Mike Mahaley.

The online application for the position says: “The finance officer directs and oversees the town’s financial management operations and must exercise considerable independent judgment and initiative in planning and directing the fiscal control system.”

Candidates should have a “thorough knowledge of North Carolina general statutes and of local ordinances governing municipal financial practices and procedures,” according to the posting.

Any combination of education and experience will be considered. However, town officials prefer the candidate have an associate degree or higher with coursework in accounting and finance from an accredited college, the job posting says.

The town is focusing on this position before hiring a new town manager. The state Local Government Commission has advised the board to get a bona fide finance manager, Mahaley said.

“That is our first priority,” Mahaley said.

In the meantime, interim Town Administrator Kenny Isenhour is willing to stay in the role as long as needed, Mahaley said.

Mahaley said he is confident the town can get a good candidate for finance manager and that the board has talked about proceeding with caution in the hiring process.

“We want to hire someone that has more than just the qualifications to be a financial officer,” he said.

Landis filed a lawsuit in March against both Gibson and Linn saying they misappropriated money.

“We are 100% in a better place than we were six months ago,” Mahaley said. “We’re on the right track.”

Mahaley said there are no applicants thus far. The job was posted July 1.

However, it is still early in the application process, said interim Finance Officer Roger Hosey. The job will be posted through the end of August, and interviews will begin then, Hosey said.

“It’s still quite a chore, but we want to get a new face in the office,” Mahaley said. “I think it is going to be a wise move for us.”

For more information on the finance officer position, visit townoflandis.com/now-hiring-finance-officer.

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