Ferguson, Missouri names new city manager

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 18, 2015 10:22 AM

(Reuters) - A new city manager has been hired in Ferguson, Missouri, the St. Louis suburb that became a paradigm of racial profiling and police use of deadly force after a white officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager, touching off violent protests.

De'Carlon Seewood, an East St. Louis, Illinois, native who served as Ferguson's assistant city manager from 2001 to 2007, was chosen as city manager from a field of more than 40 applicants nationwide, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III said on Wednesday.

Seewood, who will begin on Nov. 30, is currently the village manager of Richton Park, Illinois. The city council approved Seewood's contract with Ferguson on Tuesday evening, Knowles said.

"We're hoping he can hit the ground running here," Knowles said. Seewood is "someone with the knowledge of the area, but ... he's been gone for eight years and can bring a fresh perspective to the city."

Ferguson, a mostly black community of 21,000 residents, endured civil unrest last year after St. Louis County prosecutors announced that a grand jury had decided not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the August 2014 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

A federal investigation found that Wilson was justified in shooting Brown in a struggle over the officer's gun.

Ferguson suffered financially as several businesses were wiped out after being looted or vandalized during riots, and its budget deficit grew as costs, including overtime pay for police, increased.

(Reporting by Suzannah Gonzales; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)