MONROE — Columbus “Buddy” Smith Jr. has been hired as interim engineer for the city of Monroe.

Former engineer Sinyale Morrison resigned in November. Since then, project manager Arthur Holland and engineer Richard Paulus have shared the duties of city engineer.

Morrison and a former employee, Ricardo Nance, recently pleaded not guilty to charges of public payroll fraud.

They were indicted by a grand jury in February and are scheduled for a court appearance on May 14.

Mayor Jamie Mayo said there is no timeline for naming a permanent city engineer.

Smith has more than four decades of engineering experience at the municipal, state and corporate levels.

His experience includes systems planning and development, highway and streets, utilities, drainage, solid waste, landfill, traffic engineering and water/wastewater systems.

Smith has worked for the cities of Shreveport, Ruston and Wichita, Kans., and also for state and federal agencies.