Three sitting members of the board of directors of the Southeastern Economic Development Corp. were reappointed to the board today. The City Council voted unanimously to reappoint Rich Geisler, Derryl Williams and Cruz Gonzalez to the board of the troubled agency.
The move is significant because the three board members reappointed have been openly critical of outgoing SEDC President Carolyn Y. Smith and the agency’s direction and actions in recent years. In contrast, five board members who had been supportive of Smith were removed from the board by the mayor and City Council earlier this year.
Smith was terminated by the board in July after it was revealed that she had approved the payment of more than $1 million in hidden bonuses to herself and her staff. However, Smith has remained at the agency, and will not leave office until Oct. 21.
Earlier this month, after an audit concluded that SEDC’s actions “rose to the level of fraud,” Mayor Jerry Sanders reiterated his call for Smith to step down immediately.
The new SEDC board will consider the mayor’s request for Smith to step down immediately at tomorrow night’s board meeting.
The meeting is at 5 p.m. at SEDC’s headquarters on Imperial Avenue.