Columbus Council approved a resolution Tuesday to hire a Bibb County employee as the new chief clerk for Muscogee County Recorder’s Court.
The vote was taken after councilors went into executive session to discuss personnel and litigation matters. When they returned, they voted to hire Donna Willingham, Chief Deputy Clerk at Bibb County Probate Court, to fill the position. She will be paid a salary of $45,195.91, according to the resolution.
Councilor Judy Thomas, who led the hiring effort, said Willingham would be a great addition to the court. She said other members of the selection committee included Councilors Jerry “Pops” Barnes and Gary Allen, as well as new full-time Recorder’s Court Senior Judge Julius Hunter and Larry Love, who has been serving as the court’s interim administrator.
Following the council meeting, Thomas told the Ledger-Enquirer that Willingham’s hire is part of the restructuring of Recorder’s Court. Willingham will fill the position most recently held by Maj. Terri Ezell, who returned to the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office at the beginning of the year.
Willingham’s husband is a pastor being transferred to Columbus, Thomas said, and Willingham had been looking for a job in the area.
“Ms. Willingham has a wealth of experience in managing courts and she brings to us several of the skills that we have been looking for in Recorder’s Court,” Thomas said. “The committee thinks with Ms. Willingham’s hire and the appointment of Judge Hunter as the chief judge for Recorders Court, that we’re well on our way to having the stellar Recorder’s Court in the state.”