Birmingham Chief of Staff terminated from position

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - On Thursday, acting Mayor Carole Smitherman fired her chief of staff, Deborah Vance-Bowie.  Smitherman says there were too many trust issues with Vance-Bowie and says she must be held part responsible for the errors in the budget, which now stands $20-million underfunded.

Just Tuesday, Vance-Bowie told FOX6 she was unaware of that $20-million shortfall.

Former Finance Director Steve Sayler, who resigned Monday, says he told her as early as June.

Smitherman says "At this point, it is not who is right and who is wrong. It is about moving the city forward."

Smitherman has already named a replacement, Kevin Moore, who has worked for the city for years and was previously the business manager for the Parks and Recreation Department. Smitherman says it is the first step in restoring trust in government and moving Birmingham forward.

"One of the things that bothered me night after night when I went home is that Steve Sayler said another, Deborah said another. So I could never tell who was telling the truth," says Smitherman, "When you get to that point, it isn't 20 million and the city budget..We stand at this point maybe having to redo the entire budget."

"If we don't get it right now, we're headed down a tough road," says the newly named Chief of Staff Kevin Moore, "Finances are the key to the growth of the city and we want people coming here and to have confidence in city government."