DEWITT — The search for a new director of the Clinton County Emergency Management Agency got under way here late last week when a committee met in closed session to review the applications of 17 individuals.

At the direction of Clinton County Attorney Michael Wolf, the committee met in open session and then voted to go into closed session to review the applications.

The committee members then assigned numbers to the various applicants and came into open session to vote on them by number.

Five finalists were chosen, according to Sheriff Rick Lincoln, and interviews are tentatively scheduled for July 31 and Aug. 1. Background checks also will be conducted.

At the interview meetings, a session may be closed if the candidate requests it and tells the committee what “needless and irreparable injury” would be caused to him or her by having the name disclosed.

Candidates who do not claim needless and irreparable harm will have their interviews held in open session, in which case their names will be released.

After the interviews and background checks, the committee is expected to make one or more recommendations to the full EMA commission at an open meeting.

The search committee is made up of Lincoln, Supervisor Jill Davisson and mayors LaMetta Wynn of Clinton, Don Thiltgen of DeWitt and Marty Jahn of Charlotte.

The full commission is made up of representatives of the 14 cities and towns in the county, a representative of the board of supervisors and the sheriff.

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