On Sept. 21, a three-person panel of the Fairhope Personnel Board voted 2-1 to overturn Mayor Karin Wilson’s attempted demotion of Fairhope HR Manager Pandora Heathcoe in an appeal hearing.
Wilson was attempting to shift Heathcoe into a lower position, a Human Resource Coordinator position, which would have meant a drop in salary range for Heathcoe - from her current position’s range of $51,108.98 to $81,774.38 to the coordinator position’s range of $33,113.60 to $43,056.
Though Heathcoe had requested the meeting be open to the public, the Personnel Board decided some of the information that could come up in the hearing could be confidential material about other city employees, the board determined the meeting would be closed to the public.
“We can’t let confidential information be released about the city of Fairhope,” Personnel Board Member Rob Stankoski said.
Several city employees were on hand to potentially be called to speak during the hearing, though none were called during the nearly three hours the hearing took place.
Neither Heathcoe nor Wilson chose to comment after the decision was announced.
According to multiple sources, this decision by the Personnel Board marks the fourth time the Personnel Board has overturned or modified actions taken by Wilson involving city employees.
Heathcoe is the same employee who filed a notice of the claim with the city May 19 that alleged an assault on her by Wilson on Dec. 29, 2016.