City Collector Ridgell is fired

Pine Bluff City Collector Albert Ridgell was fired Wednesday by Mayor Debe Hollingsworth.

Ridgell, who resides in Little Rock, had served in the position since June 2007. He earned an annual salary of $51,818.52.

Hollingsworth said in a brief email statement that the decision to dismiss Ridgell “did not come lightly.” She added that the firing was based on “unsatisfactory work performance that has been documented for some time now.”

In a telephone interview, the mayor declined to elaborate.

Human Resources Director Vickie Conaway said Ridgell has five days to appeal his termination to the mayor, who would have five days to respond. If Ridgell disagrees with her response, he can then appeal to the city council within five days.

Ridgell is the third department head to be fired since Hollingsworth took office seven months ago today.

The mayor dismissed then-Police Chief Brenda Davis-Jones within hours of taking her oath of office on Jan. 1. In February, Brandon Southerland was dismissed as director of the Pine Bluff Animal Control Department.