The search is on for new leadership at MLGW

The resignation of Joseph Lee leaves MLGW without a president. The process of replacing him could take months. It's a familiar predicament for the public utility.

Trouble began brewing at MLGW in December of 2003 when Mayor Willie Herenton ousted utility president Herman Morris.

In January 2004, Mayor Herenton nominated his city Finance Director Joseph Lee to replace Morris. City council members rejected Lee's appointment and ordered a national search for a CEO.

One day later, the mayor fired back and made Lee Acting President of the utility.

But before that day was over, Lee would resign. Two months later, Lee made it to the short list of 15 possible candidates for the job.

But in April, he withdrew his name from the list. By June that same year, the mayor submitted Lee's name again as his top nominee. This time the council vote passed.

"I'm going to do the very best that I can to make this council proud of me," said Lee.

Six months after the process began, MLGW had a new president. Almost three years later, the search for a new one begins.

Mayor Herenton says he'll consider hiring an outside consulting firm to help him find his next nominee.

If this search takes as long as the last one, MLGW could be without a permanent president right up until the mayoral election in November.

Click here to email Anna Marie Hartman.