The Smithfield Town Council and Mayor Andy Moore will announce as early as next week who will be the next town manager. Sources tell WTSB News Smithfield Police Chief Michael Scott will be named the new town manager.
WTSB first reported on April 7th that Chief Scott had been offered the job. Reports indicate Chief Scott has accepted the town managers position and a formal announcement will be made following the completion of a background check and the signing of his contract. The contract will likely be thoroughly reviewed by town leaders following complaints about the severance package given to the former town manager Paul Sabiston who received 50 percent of his salary when he was fired in 2015.
Scott will become the 8th full-time town manager in 31 years in Smithfield.
Chief Scott has declined to comment about the town managers position. The only comment he previously made was, “There is not much I can tell you.”
Smithfield has been without a permanent town manager since August 2015 when Sabiston was fired in a 4-to-3 vote.
Sabiston, a native of Marietta, Georgia was hired on April 16, 2012 to replace Eric Williams who was also fired as Smithfield’s town manager in 2011. Prior to accepting the job in Smithfield, Sabiston had been the Interim Town Manager for the City of Boiling Lakes in Brunswick County since July 2011.
Scott has been the Smithfield police chief since October 2009 when he was hired to replace Chief Steve Gillikin who retired earlier that year.
Scott began his law enforcement career in Muscatine, Iowa in 1984 and progressed through the ranks to assistant chief in 2007. He was hired by former Town Manager Williams who touted the new chiefs “experience in all municipal policing operations, including a department-wide focus on community policing” as one of the reasons he was selected.
Scott has a BS Degree in Criminal Justice from Kaplan College in Davenport, Iowa and a MA degree in Law Enforcement and Justice Administration from Western Illinois University. He is also a 1997 graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Chief Scott and his wife, Peggy, live in Smithfield.
Interim Police Chief
Unconfirmed reports indicate Smithfield Police Captain R.K. Powell will be named the interim police chief after Scott’s transition from the police station to the town hall.