Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Greer Defends His Character [Corrected 07/26/13] ; Former EMA Director Chides Mayor Winnecke

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Greer Defends His Character [Corrected 07/26/13] ; Former EMA Director Chides Mayor Winnecke

Article excerpt

Former Emergency Management Agency Director Sherman Greer said he was deeply hurt when Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke said Monday that he had lost trust in the EMA. Greer admitted recent mistakes at the agency, particularly in his handling of overtime pay for an employee. But he believes he should still have his job and cited community support he has received.

"I'm just tired of all these things going around," Greer said during a news conference Tuesday afternoon in front of the Civic Center. He was accompanied by his wife, Kimberly.

"I'm not a bad guy. I've been here 23 years," he said, "and I've worked for four administrations. I don't want to be painted that way. I would also like for this administration to cease with the character assassinations on behalf of myself and my deputy director, Adam Groupe."

Greer was asked by Winnecke to resign last week. On Monday, Groupe - who was elevated to interim director following Greer's departure - also was ousted.

Winnecke cited Greer's approval of nearly $18,000 in overtime pay, about 1,100 hours worth, for an office worker and Greer's decision to purchase a vehicle this year when no money for that purpose was in EMA's 2013 budget.

Winnecke said a further internal investigation of EMA showed that Groupe was involved in trying to steer city business toward a particular vendor bidding on radio equipment for Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden. He said the internal probe remains open and did not rule out the possibility of authorities becoming involved.

Greer reiterated earlier statements that he accepts responsibility for the overtime issue. "I should have been more diligent about that," he said.

But regarding the vehicle purchase, Greer said he went through all appropriate channels in local government.

"I just can't go out and buy a truck," Greer said. "It has to go through a process, and it went through the process with the city and county."

Specifications for the vehicle were written, bids were taken and a purchase order was issued for EMA to buy the truck, according to Greer. …

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