One of the two finalists to be the director of Bibb County's new animal welfare department left his last job after an investigation into failure to report parvo cases to the state.
A statement on the Atlanta Humane Society's web site says, "The internal investigation that focused on the Department of Agriculture not receiving contagious disease reports from Atlanta Humane Society is complete. Richard Rice is no longer an Atlanta Humane Society active employee."
Rice is formerly the executive vice president of the Atlanta Humane Society.
WAGA-TV in Atlanta reported this spring that the Atlanta Humane Society shelters failed to report hundreds of parvo cases to the state, over a two-year period.
Atlanta Humane Society officials did not return our phone calls.
Bibb County commissioner Lonzy Edwards, head of the citizens search committee, would not comment on Rice, saying that they have 14 days to do background checks on the candidates.
The search committee today named Richard Rice as one of two finalists for the Bibb animal-welfare job, according to Dwight Baker, the county's human resources director.
The other one is Sarah Tenon, who runs the shelter in Mobile, Ala.
Baker says they were picked from among 32 applicants to run Bibb County's troubled animal shelter. The county assumed control of the shelter from the city of Macon on July 1.
Four candidates were picked to be interviewed in person and one dropped out.
Baker said Bibb County Commission Chairman Sam Hart is interviewing both Tenon and Rice this week. Next month, he will recommend to the commission which one should be hired.
Baker said the hiring must take place after a 14-day waiting period, which ends Sept. 6.
County officials have not revealed the salary for the job. Baker said it is negotiable.
County officials are also looking for a new site for an animal shelter. The current one located next to the city landfill has long been plagued by health and safety issues.