The management consultant hired last year to turn around Westbrook’s beleaguered fire department has been selected as the city’s first director of public safety, leading both the fire and police departments.

Mayor Colleen Hilton planned to announce at a news conference this morning that she has chosen Michael Pardue, the interim public safety director, to fill the position permanently.

Pardue is founder and president of the Kennebunk-based consulting firm Central Intelligence and has served as police chief in Ogunquit and interim police chief in Kennebunk.

He was hired by Westbrook on a temporary basis in March 2010 to resolve sexual harassment, communication and leadership issues that long plagued the fire department and led to lawsuits by two female firefighters who have since settled with the city.

Upon the retirement of Police Chief Bill Baker in January, Hilton announced she would consolidate the police and fire chiefs’ jobs into the public safety director position.

A panel of city officials and public safety employees interviewed 12 candidates for the job, according to a news release from the city. Two finalists were interviewed by two city councilors, the city administrator, the city’s human resources director and the mayor.

The City Council is scheduled to vote on whether to confirm the mayor’s selection at a meeting June 6.

Staff Writer Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at 791-6364 or at:

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