McGill gone again: Update | Rock Candy

McGill gone again: Update




Mosaic Templars Cultural Center Director H.L. McGill, whose firing and rehiring I reported on last year, has been terminated a second time. Assistant director Quantia Fletcher will head the staff while the state Department of Arkansas Heritage searches for a successor.

McGill has not returned a call, but I'll have more on this later, when I get a chance to look at files the former director has made open.

The Mosaic Templars museum, with its exhibits on black entrepreneurs and the history of Ninth Street, is a gem in need of experienced leadership that will grow its collections and public awareness.

UPDATE: On March 9, DAH Deputy Director Martha Miller cited several problems in a disciplinary notification issued McGill, including allegations that he ignored her request to see a draft of the museum's IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Services) grant for 2012 (the 2011 grant was also an issue in McGill's first firing last March), committed to various expenditures without prior approval, did not get with Miller to coordinate schedules in setting a meeting, failed to answer e-mail on a number of issues, failed to "plan for the future," citing a "last-minute rush to spend down the NCRC (Natural and Cultural Resources Council) 2011 grant," a "questionable understanding" of NCRC status and other communication breakdowns, including a situation in which his assistant put in a request to draw down $300,000 in funds in error.

McGill declined to sign the notification, and, according to Miller, said "he thought this was a matter that needed to be discussed with Lamar Davis of Gov. Mike Beebe's staff." Davis is Beebe's deputy chief of staff.

On March 16, Miller put a note in McGill's file saying she was also concerned about a request from McGill's assistant to draw down $73,000 for expenditures not approved.

On March 21, McGill responded to Miller in writing, saying he'd let her know where she could find the IMLS draft referred to in the March 9 disciplinary notice, had never been required to get prior approval for purchases, that his business specialist had taken care of items and declined being tardy in his response to DAH administrators.

Miller terminated McGill Monday for his "failure to respond to the concerns" raised in the disciplinary notice.

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