Former Dothan Police Chief John R. Powell is among eleven finalists to become chief in Panama City. The position became available when John Van Etten retired October 31.
Powell served a chief in Dothan from 2005 until 2009, leaving to take a position with the Florida Department of Professional and Business Regulation. He resigned that position last year amid questions surrounding possible conflict of interest involving his candidacy for Escambia County, FL sheriff. Powell was never implicated of wrongdoing in regard to the matter.
However, the former chief was arrested a few months later on misdemeanor charges alleging he illegally accepted campaign contributions. He was placed in a pretrial diversion program which essentially dismisses the charge. Powell lost the election to the incumbent Escambia County sheriff.
Other candidates include acting Panama City Chief Scott Ervin. A decision should be made within a few weeks.