MOULTRIE -- A county commissioner spoke out Wednesday against the hiring of Billy Mock as county administrator.

Commissioner Luke Strong cast the sole vote against Mock's employment Tuesday night, declaring foul play because the board just went through the motions of taking interviewing for the position when the other commissioners wanted Mock as administrator all along.

"From the very first meeting, they did not want to look at any of those applicants (at that time there were 16) nor interview them," Strong said Wednesday. "I demanded we look at some of those applicants and interview them. I told them it wasn't right to have 16 applicants and not interview anybody."

Strong said the decision was backdoor politics and a "done deal from Day One."

The commissioner was absent at the next called meeting in which the board decided to offer the job to Mock but called for another vote during a called meeting Tuesday morning. Strong also protested that the vote to hire Mock was during a called meeting that morning when there was a regular board meeting scheduled for that night.

He said the process was not only unfair to the applicants but also to the citizens of Colquitt County.

Strong also complained that the county advertised the job specifying at least a bachelor's degree in business or public administration and three to five years experience. Mock, a retired school superintendent, didn't meet those qualifications, he said. Out of the four final candidates, three were more qualified, he maintained.

Commission Chair Max Hancock said Mock was indeed qualified for the job and deserving.

"It was with overwhelming support of the board -- six to one -- and I feel like the majority of the board is happy with him, the citizens are happy with him and the employees are happy with him. I think he's doing an excellent job for us," Hancock said.

But Strong doesn't believe the other applicants got a fair shake.

"Why advertise for a manager and not go through the process?" he said. "It's a bad part of county government when it gets to that point that a person is hired based on what I call the 'good ole boy' system."

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