Former county commission chairman talks about Lovett's hiring pr - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Former county commission chairman talks about Lovett's hiring process

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

While many are turning to the current city administration for answers about former SCMPD Willie Lovett's federal charges, efforts were made to contact the administration that actually made him chief.

Selecting a chief is a joint effort between the city and the county, and on Friday, a former county commission chairman who helped in that selection process spoke.

"I know that when we made that decision, there was nothing like this that we had any information on," said former country commission chairman Pete Laikakis.

Lovett, who now faces federal charges related to an illegal gambling business, was the most qualified fo chief according to the four committee members, which includes the former mayor, city manager, county commission chairman and county manager.

"When you look at his records and see the things that he had accomplished and his different areas where he worked, that was an added feature," said Laikakis.

And with many in the community wondering if the drive to diversify the department resulted in a lower standard, Laikakis said no.

When asked if he saw any sort of relaxing of the rules with that pressure, Laikakis was adamant.

"No," he said. "There was nothing of the sort. We were looking at the training, all the experience, all of the experience that was there."

He said the committee had no information or suspicion about Lovett potentiall being involved in illegal activity.

Laikakis said the committee had more than 90 applicants narrowed down to 10, and Lovett was selected out of the top three candidates.

The Police Policy Committee is back now with the current administration to find a permanent replacement for Lovett.

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