With New Boss, ADEM Finding Stability Again

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR - Staffers in the Arkansas Dept. of Emergency Management may be a little unsettled these days after moving to their new headquarters in North Little Rock from the agency's former home in Conway.  But that's a much more welcome reason for being a tad restless than the instability that has afflicted the agency because of several changes at the top in the past few years.

ADEM director David Maxwell is the fourth person to head the agency in three years.  But he's been in place for a little more than a year, and officials and legislators say a sense of stability is returning to the department.

Maxwell took over after a series of unexpected resignations and controversies, replacing John Brackin, who unexpectedly quit after less than a year.

State Senator Shane Broadway of Bryant says Maxwell's background in emergency management has helped the agency find its footing again.  At the dedication of the department's new emergency operations center last month, Governor Beebe praised Maxwell and former Lafayette County Sheriff Danny Ormand, now the agency's deputy director.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)