MOUNT VERNON — The search for a new EMA director is nearing a conclusion. So close, in fact, an independent consultant has been contracted to do a background check on the preferred candidate.
Although she would not mention any names until the EMA board approves the appointment, Emily Marth, safety and loss prevention director for the county, told the News the top candidate is highly qualified.
“We had a lot of very qualified candidates,” Marth said. “Our candidate is impressive and he comes with experience, knowledge, skills and abilities that fit well with the position.”
The proposed director was selected from a pool of applicants by way of a committee which narrowed down the choices to the top five. From there, the top three were interviewed leading to the selection of the yet unnamed applicant.
Marth confirmed a conditional offer has been made, pending a positive background check.
“We have learned from our mistakes,” Marth said, in reference to matters that were overlooked in the hiring of the previous director, Brian Hess. Capital Consulting, she said, will handle the background checks including FBI, Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification, credentials from former employers, personnel issues, civil litigation, tax liens, out-of-state conviction and work references, to name a few.
“He told me he ‘squeezes the grape pretty hard’ when he does the checks,” Marth said of the investigator assigned. The process could take about 10 days to create a portfolio on the candidate that will be viewed by the EMA board prior to voting on the candidate’s potential employment with the county.
Marth said the fee for the background checks is based on several factors, but she expects the cost to come in around $240.
Capital Consulting is the same firm the city of Mount Vernon uses to perform background checks for firefighter candidates.
The next scheduled EMA board meeting is May 17.