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Ferguson Hires A New City Manager, Looking Toward A New Era

Eight months after Ferguson's city manager resigned in the wake of a scathing Justice Department report, which found recurrent problems in the city's legal system, Ferguson officials have named a replacement.

De'Carlon Seewood will replace John Shaw, who stepped down in March after a federal investigation found that the Ferguson Police Department's practices "are shaped by the City's focus on revenue rather than by public safety needs."

From St. Louis Public Radio, Wayne Pratt reports:

"De'Carlon Seewood is a familiar face at Ferguson City Hall. He was assistant city manager for six years and most recently held a similar position in a Chicago suburb.

"He replaces former City Manager John Shaw, who resigned in March, shortly after a federal report highlighted racial profiling among Ferguson police and how the municipal court seemed to be driven by profit.

"Those findings followed last year's shooting death of Michael Brown by a police officer. In a statement released by the city, Seewood says he wants to bridge the gap for everyone who wants Ferguson to succeed."

The Justice Department inquiry also uncovered racist emails that had been sent between officials, forcing the exit of the city's clerk and two police officers.

After that much-anticipated report came out in March, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles said he would be staying in his job leading the city.

Calling Seewood the right person for the job, Knowles said Tuesday, "The choice wasn't easy, but we took into consideration several factors which included experience, fiscal accountability and a commitment to community engagement."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.