New Albany leaders have no specific timeline for replacing two high-ranking employees leaving the city government, and one of those vacant positions will be repurposed, according to city spokesman Scott McAfee.

Debra Mecozzi, who has served as deputy city manager since 1997, is retiring, McAfee said, while Chad Fuller, the city's finance director, is taking a job with the Licking County government, where he worked before joining New Albany's administration.

The city is seeking applications for a new finance director, McAfee said, and the salary range for that position is $102,500 to $117,875. Fuller's total annual compensation, which includes salary and the value of benefits, is $162,495, McAfee said.

Instead of replacing Mecozzi, the city will create a new position, a director of administrative services, McAfee said. Although a job description hasn't been created for this position, the salary, like that of finance director, would be at a department-head level: $102,500 to $117,875.

Mecozzi's position of deputy city manager had a pay range of $107,625 to $128,125, so the new director of administrative services position could be cost the city $10,250 to $25,625 less each year, McAfee said.

"We won't know for sure until that person is hired," he said, adding that Mecozzi's salary had been at the top of her pay range. He said her total annual compensation, which includes salary and the value of benefits, is $173,745.

In addition, the city is seeking a human-resources officer, a position that had been approved but was never filled due to the recession a few years ago, McAfee said. That position's salary range is $87,125 to $102,500.

Fuller has worked for the city for almost four years; his last day will be March 17, McAfee said.

Fuller said he would begin his new position with Licking County, a hybrid finance and information technology role, March 20. Fuller previously worked with the county for 16 years, rising to chief deputy auditor.

He said the decision to leave New Albany was difficult.

"I felt like I accomplished great things here; I felt like it was a great job," he said.

Fuller was the subject of a story last October when city officials announced he was the victim of extortion by a woman he had contacted on an internet dating website. Fuller told New Albany police and city officials about the extortion at the end of May.

New Albany officers still are investigating the alleged extortion, McAfee said.

However, Fuller's departure isn't connected to that incident, he said.

"It has nothing to do with it," he said.

Furthermore, no public money appeared to have been involved in the case, McAfee said.

He said Fuller produced a paper trail in his personal accounts to show city officials where the extorted money had come from.

Fuller also passed a polygraph test, he said.

Although city officials believe nothing more would come of the investigation, a forthcoming audit should verify Fuller's account, McAfee said.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah