RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. — Richland County has announced the selection of a new county administrator, who will start work in July.

Leonardo Brown, who currently serves as county administrator for Smith County, Texas, is scheduled to start in his new role with Richland County on July 15. 

During his eight years with Smith County, Texas – which has a population of about 250,000 and a total comprehensive budget of about $250 million – Brown advanced from the position of director of Human Resources to administrator. His areas of responsibility include executive leadership management, financial planning and budgetary issues, human resource development, public works and communications.

Prior to his positions within the Smith County administration, Brown worked in the private sector as an area manager for Enterprise Rent-A-Car, where he was responsible for multiple business units.  While in this position, he increased area revenue by 100 percent, while decreasing expenses by 40 percent, according to officials with Richland County.

The Shreveport, La., native holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Dillard University, a Master of Business Administration degree from Louisiana State University (Shreveport), and a Certified Public Manager credential from Stephen F. Austin State University.

Brown will assume the role of county administrator after interim administrator Edward Gomeau left that role in March. 

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The county administrator seat has been vacant since May of 2018 after Gerald Seals was fired from the county back in April for allegedly sleeping on the job. 

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Seals wrote a letter to council saying that their actions in firing him were against the law.

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The county later agreed to a one million dollar settlement. 

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Seals was originally hired as interim administrator, replacing Tony McDonald in July of 2016. In December of 2016, he was hired in the full role.