Commission didn’t compare rankings for Fire Chief finalists

CSRA News

Augusta, Ga (WJBF)   Like the other candidates for the job, fire chief finalist Antonio Burden’s qualifications were ranked and tallied up for comparison. He scored a ten, that sounds impressive but under the cities system it really isn’t.  

 A majority of Augusta commissioners believe Antonio Burden is the person to lead the Augusta Fire Department, but how the City’s search firm ranked him compared to other candidates wasn’t something commissioners focused on.  

“I never heard that point stressed, no you know it never came up in the interview process with anyone,” said Commissioner John Clarke.   

 As part of the application process Burden was scored on his job qualifications.  

Given points for things like college degree, fire leadership certifications, and experience, candidates needed a score of ten or more to be considered for an interviewed Burden surviving right on the number. 

“To me I think the best candidate the person for that job not a marginal score,” said Clarke.  

Commissioners interviewed a total of four candidates, so the question is, did any score better than Burden? 

“We don’t know and that’s because the City has not complied with the law that requires producing the documents on the others,” said David Hudson, General Counsel to the Georgia Press Association 

NewsChannel 6 and other press have sued the City to get the information released so all can know who is being considered to lead the Fire Department.

“This shows the wisdom of having a law that requires documents to be shared on all of the finalists,” said Hudson. 

Though commissioners have named Burden the finalist, lawyers say that doesn’t mean he gets the job. Commissioners still must take a vote in a public meeting to approve him.

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