City of Northport fires finance director

City of Northport fires finance director

NORTHPORT, AL (WBRC) - Sudden departures continue at Northport City Hall after the council voted Monday evening to fire Finance Director Kenneth McKeown.

This comes two weeks after the sudden resignation of City Administrator Scott Collins. It is not determined yet if McKeown's termination is related to Collins' resignation.

The city wouldn't comment on McKeown's termination saying it is a personal matter.
 
Northport Mayor Bobby Herndon says Collins transferred reserve money into the health insurance fund to help cover employees who were sick at the time.

Collins then returned the money all without council approval.

Herndon says it's not illegal to transfer money. Herndon still maintains a "backroom deal" was made to get rid of Collins by other council members.

"People here at city hall are just unsure of anything going on as I am because I haven't been in the loop. So I'm just trying to get information. Share as I can but we will get through this," Herndon said.

Councilwoman Judy Hayes and some residents are now calling for a forensic audit to check the city's overall finances. The city's normal audit is taking place later this week.

"They are giving the impression that they have something to hide, like there's a cover up. We want to know where there are criminal activities going on? And where's the money?," Mel Traweek, a concerned Northport resident said.

Council president Jay Logan says he has done nothing wrong and no "backroom deals" were made to oust people.

Councilman Bart Harper echoed those thoughts on Monday.

"I don't think anything has gone on or anything is going on that there is money missing or that kind of thing. I really don't," Harper said.

State Representative Alan Harper has been spotted in the former city administrator's office.

Herndon says it appears he's conducting city business without his knowledge.

Herndon says he doesn't want Harper doing that given his controversial comments on Facebook about only shopping at American-owned businesses.

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