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Council: City manager's resume discrepancy not a problem
Haynes admits to 'mistake' of not clarifying duties with tax office
Haynes R. Shane
Shane Haynes - photo by FILE
    Statesboro city officials said they are not concerned about discrepancies found in the resume of recently hired city manager Shane Haynes.
    Haynes, who started working for the city July 1, was hired for the city manager position after an extensive search conducted by Slavin Management Group. Haynes was most recently the city manager of Hardeeville, S.C.
    In addition to Hardeeville, Haynes listed city administrator for Springfield, Ga., and Deputy Tax Commissioner for Bulloch County as prior employment on the resume he submitted to Statesboro.
    However, Bulloch County Tax Commissioner James Deal said no one has served as deputy commissioner as long as he’s worked for the county.
    “I’ve been here since 1994 and I’ve never had a deputy,” Deal said.
    While he did work under Deal in the tax commissioner's office from August 1998 to January 2000, Haynes said it was never his intention to mislead anyone about the scope of his position.
    “Having a deputy tax commissioner implies an elected position," Haynes said. "Certainly I know and (Deal) knew I was not an elected official — I was appointed. I put it back on the resume when I applied for this job for that sole purpose — not to mislead anyone; not to misrepresent what my job was.
    In hindsight, Haynes said he should have contacted Deal before submitting his resume to “compare notes to make sure the information I had about my time there was correct.”
    “Obviously, the mistake I made was not conferring with (Deal) before I put that back on my resume and for that I’m deeply sorry,”  Haynes said.
    According to council members, Haynes approached them about the discrepancy in his resume as soon as he was made aware of it.    
    “(Haynes) talked to us individually, I believe. He definitely talked with me,” said councilman Will Britt. “I called him when I heard about it.”
    Britt said while he worked on a tax matter with Haynes in the commissioner’s office and remembers him being the second person in charge, that job reference didn’t play a significant role in the decision to appoint him city manager.
    “Because of his (job) title, that’s not why we hired him. That’s not why I hired him,” Britt said. “I don’t see that as anything malicious … if that was not his title, I don’t know what his title was.”
    Councilman Travis Chance and Mayor Bill Hatcher echoed Britt's statements.
    “We did not hire Shane based upon his work experience with the commissioner’s office," Chance said. “We don’t feel, after talking with him, that anything has changed. We have faith in him. He is our guy to lead us into the future.”
    “We have to go from where we are — not shoulda, coulda, woulda,” Hatcher said. “We’re moving forward. He’s our guy. We’re not going to let Shane go as a result of this situation.”
    In addition to the incorrect job title, Haynes listed recruiting, hiring and training of employees, supervision of 15 office staff and working on a county-wide LIDAR mapping system as job duties while working in the tax commissioner's office. Deal, however, said the duties listed on Haynes' resume were not part of his responsibilities.
    Britt said he had not talked to Haynes about such discrepancies.
    “I’m a little upset at the length people have gone to make this a deal,” Britt said. “I believe certain people are making a choice to bring this to light and make it a bigger deal than it is.”
    Hatcher also believes the situation is being blown out of proportion.
    “To me, we’re majoring in minor issues,” said the mayor.
    Haynes addressed how the issues about his resume could affect his ability to appropriately discipline the more than 300 city employees under his supervision.
    “We need to look at each situation," Haynes said. "I know I’m held to a higher standard and I hold myself to a higher standard that’s why I’m disappointed this has become an issue.
    "I’ve never claimed to be perfect. Again, I would say that those that truly know me — and I have a lot of people in this community who have known me for a long, long time — I believe if you spoke with them they would tell you that I’m a person who commits to ethical standards and character.”
    While neither the mayor nor council members would criticize Slavin Management Group for mishandling the search, each said Slavin bears some responsibility for not catching the inconsistency in Haynes' resume during the search.
    “To a degree, we relied on Slavin to vet our candidates,” Hatcher said.
    Sam Trager, the representative from Sloan who handled the city manager search, said his company didn’t place much importance on the tax commissioner position either.
    “Our focus when conducting referencing is to focus on the relevant work experience that shows the candidates qualifications,” said Trager. “In the case of Mr. Haynes, we focused our referencing on his work as a city manager.”
    Also, even though the tax commissioner’s office is only a few blocks from city hall, city officials said it simply didn’t occur to them to call or speak with Deal directly. Further, Trager said Slavin typically discourages council members from checking references, in the event candidates are conducting their search confidentially.
    “This was my mistake in not contacting the commissioner if I intended to put it back on my resume,” Haynes said. “I’ve fully admitted my mistake to the mayor and council members. I’ve asked them to forgive me. I understand if it creates a problem where they’ve lost confidence in me and have to make a decision there. Obviously I don’t want that to be the case. I’ve been reassured by the mayor that he feels the city made the right decision to hire me.
    “I know that it’s caused some confusion and I know it’s likely caused people to pause and think about me and my integrity. Certainly that was not the outcome I wanted. I have so much respect for Mr. Deal, who he is as a person and for his public service; I would never want to do anything that would cast any doubt or shadow on my time there with his office. I apologized to him personally.
    “Hindsight being 20/20, if I had the opportunity to go back and do that over, obviously I would have contacted (Commissioner Deal) and compared notes to make sure the information I had about my time there was correct.”
    Haynes said he has since pulled reference to his job in the tax commissioner's office from his resume completely.

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