Harrison County Utility Authority fires longtime director - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Harrison County Utility Authority fires longtime director

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HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

A questionable car deal prompted the firing of the longtime executive director of the Harrison County Utility Authority on Friday.

The utility board voted unanimously at a special meeting to terminate Kamran Pahlavan. The decision followed a lengthy closed door meeting.

Board members convened the special meeting at nine o'clock Friday morning.

"I suggest you go ahead and vote to go into executive session," said Board Attorney Jim Simpson.

The board then went behind closed doors for nearly three and a half hours, where they discussed Executive Director Kamran Pahlavan's reported purchase of a used car, which was bought and financed by a man who owns a company which has a large contract with the utility authority.

Serious concerns about conflict of interest, led to the motion to fire the director, which was read by the board attorney.

"The board feels that the transactions engaged in by the executive director and his handling of the matter were materially adverse to the best interests of the district. And the motion is to terminate the contract of the executive director, effective immediately," attorney Simpson said.

The vote which followed was unanimous, but the board chairman called it a difficult decision.

"It's just hard. It's a very hard thing. We have a great working relationship. These are just some issues that transpired that we just can't have, you know. We can't condone it. It may have been, I don't know.  It's just sad that it comes to this, you know," said Chairman Billy Skellie.

It was a sentiment echoed by board member Kim Savant, who admitted it was a tough decision.

"Yeah. It's always that. Termination is never something you want to come to. I hated it," Savant told WLOX News.

"It's hard, you know, these type decisions," said Chairman Skellie, "but it was in the best interest of the district. It needed to be done."

Kamran Pahlavan left the meeting room quickly and did not return our call asking for comment.

Chairman Skellie said the utility authority will quickly launch a search for a new executive director. Another employee at the utility authority, Bart Clover, will temporarily fulfill the director's duties.

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