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Published: Wednesday, 10/8/2008

Monroe County's Lesow Center director sought

BY MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

MONROE - Nearly three months ago, the Arthur Lesow Community Center's board of directors made the controversial and unexplained move to terminate its director, Will Sweat.

Board members have remained tight-lipped about their decision to remove Mr. Sweat, who was well-liked among residents in the city's east side, which is served by the nonprofit youth center.

Instead of dwelling on the past, board President Willie Hall said efforts are being focused on finding a replacement as soon as possible.

"We are not going to talk about [Mr. Sweat]," Mr. Hall said. "Instead we are moving forward."

A selection committee of experienced administrators, public officials, and residents has been assembled to review applicants to replace Mr. Sweat.

They are: Connie Carroll, executive director of United Way of Monroe County; Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Costello, Jr.; Peggy Howard, city of Monroe personnel director; Tom Ready, city attorney; Frank Spreeman, Monroe County personnel director; Stephanie Kasprzak, Monroe County Opportunity Program executive director; and community members Nora Young and Denise Gray.

Mr. Hall said the committee will recommend four or six finalists to the board and each applicant will be interviewed.

"The board of directors will do interviews, but the search committee will make recommendations to the board," he said.

An advertisement for the position was placed in the publication of the Michigan Nonprofit Association. However, to expand the search, the board will post the position in newspapers in Monroe, Toledo, and Detroit, he said.

Mr. Hall said the new director, who will be paid more than $41,000 a year, could be hired before the end of the month if the screening and interviewing process goes according to plans.

Mr. Sweat, who was director for four years, was fired July 23. Jan Jett, administrative assistant, was named interim director.

A rally in support of Mr. Sweat was held in the days after his dismissal. Demonstration organizers demanded answers from the board for his removal.



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