While much speculation has centered around whether Shelby County Commissioner Mike Carpenter would serve as Memphis Mayor A C Wharton's Chief Administrative Officer, another name on Wharton's radar has been George Little, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Correction.
Wharton is expected to announce his CAO selection and some other key personnel decisions this week. Former City Councilman Jack Sammons was appointed CAO by then Mayor Pro Tem Myron Lowery and is still serving in that position.
The CAO, a crucial post responsible for running the city's day-to-day operations, may be the most important personnel decision Wharton makes.
Little was appointed state corrections commissioner by Gov. Phil Bredesen in 2005. A veteran corrections administrator, Little had served as Director of the Shelby County Division of Corrections before being tapped by Bredesen.
Little, whose academic history includes a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economic and Business Administration from Morehouse College in Atlanta, and graduate studies in Economics and Urban and Regional Development at the University of Texas, once served as an assistant to former Gov. Lamar Alexander in the Office of State Planning and steadily moved up within the corrections field.
Wharton's transition team has been busy evaluating city government, including important leadership positions at City Hall.
Transition team subcommittee headings include education and early childhood, workforce and economic development, diversity business development, government efficiency, neighborhood initiatives, public safety and finance .There also are subcommittees to study the city's legal and human resources divisions.