EMA director resigns, cites executive board issues

Humboldt County Emergency Management Commission Chair Dan Scholl (left) and former EMA Coordinator Kerry McCarthy (right). McCarthy abruptly resigned his position on April 2, saying he had secured other employment.

It was two days before Easter, and what Humboldt Mayor and Emergency Management Commission Chair Dan Scholl found in his email basket was not an egg, but it was a surprise — a brief, two-sentence resignation letter from Humboldt County Emergency Management Coordinator Kerry McCarthy.
The letter said, “thank you for the opportunity to be the county emergency manager. I have accepted another position and am giving you my resignation effective immediately, April 2 at 8 a.m.”
McCarthy said the executive board (comprised of Scholl, Humboldt County Supervisor Erik Underberg, Livermore Council member and representative Paul Brown and Gilmore City Mayor Lowell Johnson) had a belief that the emergency management coordinator should be a part-time job. (Johnson resigned from the executive board last month but still sits on the Commission.)
“I had no job security. The possibility of losing my full-time status and benefits was a possibility,” McCarthy said in his letter to Commission members.
Scholl refutes the statement. “At no time did any members of the executive board state that the position should be part-time. In fact, at the time of Kerry’s hiring, Sheriff Dean Kruger and I went before the Board of Supervisors to justify the need for a full-time EMA coordinator,” Scholl told the Independent. Read more about this story in this week's print or online versions of the Humboldt Independent.

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