By Emilie St. John
COMPTON — The City Council fired City Manager Thomas Thomas during the July 11 City Council meeting.
Thomas, who was on the job for over a year, was terminated by a unanimous vote.
“As to public employee discipline dismissal release, the City Council voted 5-0 to terminate the City Manager Thomas Thomas,” City Attorney Eric Perrodin said after the council came out of closed session.
Thomas was named city Manager after a nationwide search was performed after the departure of Craig Cornwell in 2021.
After terminating Thomas, the council appointed Assistant City Manager Triphenia Simmons for one day, then moved to the agenda item to appoint Jerry Groomes.
“My fellow City Council members and I are honored to welcome Jerry Groomes as the interim city manager,” Mayor Emma Sharif said. “With his extensive experience and proven track record in public administration, we are confident that Jerry will bring invaluable expertise and leadership to our city.
“We are happy to have him serve in this crucial role and assist us in the search for a permanent city manager. Mr. Groomes’ guidance will be instrumental in ensuring a smooth transition and continued progress for the city of Compton.”
Sharif and council members Deidre Duhart and Lillie Darden voted in favor of his appointment with council members Jonathan Bowers voting no and Andre Spicer abstaining. The city declined to provide a public statement on the matter.
Groomes previously served temporarily as the city’s manager in 2016 after the City Council terminated Roger Haley II.
“I am delighted to return to Compton and serve as the city manager for the next six months,” Groomes said. “I will do all that I can to help our city thrive and work diligently to find a permanent city manager who will bring and inspire positive change and prosperity in Compton.”
Due to policies of the California Public Employees Retirement System, Groomes will serve as interim city manager for only six months.
Groomes was a long-time city manager for Carson and most recently served as the interim city manager for Bell. He also served twice as president of San Diego’s Southeastern Economic Development Corp. and is regarded as a municipal economic development expert.
According to the city, Groomes’ major task will be to lead the search for a permanent city manager over the next six months.
Emilie St. John is a freelance journalist covering the areas of Carson, Compton, Inglewood and Willowbrook. Send tips to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.