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Chief Financial Officer Susan Snowden leaves Tuscaloosa City Hall

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The city of Tuscaloosa and its chief financial officer have parted ways.

In a joint statement, CFO Susan Snowden and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox announced the “mutually agreeable separation” on Wednesday.

“The city would like to thank Susan Snowden for her dedicated and skillful service over the past six years including her role as chief financial officer,” Maddox said. “Being CFO is a difficult and demanding position, and Susan managed it well with honesty and steadfast determination that made a real difference.”

“I would also like to thank Mayor Maddox for the opportunity to serve the city in such an important role and, among other accomplishments, to help the city achieve the highest credit rating in history,” Snowden said.

No other details, including terms of the agreement or what led to her departure, were immediately available.

Snowden was placed on administrative leave last week in a move that sent rumors and questions spiraling in and around City Hall.

So far, no details on what led Maddox to place his chief financial officer on leave have been made public.

Her departure now leaves the city’s accounting and finance department without immediate leadership in the final weeks of the city’s annual budget preparations.

Maddox is set to present a proposed fiscal 2022 budget to the City Council in August. Typically, this is done in enough time for the council to review the budget in detail before adopting it before Oct. 1, as required by law.

This process usually involves much of the city’s accounting and finance department, including Snowden and  Deputy Chief Financial Officer Katy Metcalfe.

But Metcalfe recently departed City Hall to take on a role at the University of Alabama, and Wednesday’s announcement means the City Council will have no experienced financial officer to assist.

In the interim, the role of chief financial officer could fall to Becky Scheef, the city’s director of budgets and strategic planning, who introduced and explained agenda items to the council’s finance committee on Tuesday, a job typically handled by Snowden or Metcalfe.

Snowden was named the city’s chief financial officer in December 2018.

She was chosen to succeed longtime Chief Financial Officer Mike Wright, who had retired in October of that year after 35 years at City Hall.

Before being named chief financial officer, Snowden had served as the interim CFO following Wright’s retirement and the city’s deputy chief financial officer since 2015.

Snowden earned a bachelor’s degree from Clemson University and has more than 20 years of experience in accounting and financial reporting. Snowden is also a certified public accountant.

Reach Jason Morton at jason.morton@tuscaloosanews.com.

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