DAYTON, Tenn. - Rhea County's new finance director, William Watson of Hixson, is expected to start his new job today.
County Commission Chairman Ronnie Raper said Watson, who was chosen Wednesday by the Purchase and Finance Committee from among 17 prospective candidates, had the necessary "qualifications and experience." He later said Watson was a certified accountant with city and county government experience.
Former finance director Bill Graham submitted his resignation for mid-August but the finance committee voted to dismiss him before then. The committee reviewed 17 candidate resumes, including that of Deputy Director Linda Edington, and interviewed at least five people in October.
Edington, who worked in the accounting department for more than 14 years and served as interim finance director since Graham's resignation, resigned immediately at Wednesday's meeting after the committee's announcement.
A tearful Edington bid co-workers farewell after her resignation.
"It's crazy," Rhea County Executive George Thacker said, after he'd offered her his condolences and paced the hallway outside the conference room.
In an interview after his resignation, Graham had lauded Edington for her "world of experience" that he'd witnessed during their four years working together.
Graham said he had accomplished "everything I'd intended" during his tenure as finance director, and that his retirement plans included traveling with his wife, Janie, and spending time with family.
Kimberly McMillian is based in Rhea County. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.