The Davis Mental Health and Substance Abuse Center has hired a new director.

Maureen Womack, who is currently the director of the Center for Behavioral Health at Memorial Hospital in Gulfport, Miss., will assume the position of director for Davis Mental Health on Nov. 9. She holds a master's in psychology from the University of South Alabama."We are confident that Ms. Womack brings the right combination of clinical expertise, management experience, and leadership ability to the center," said Read Hellewell, chairman of the board of trustees for Davis Mental Health, in a news release.

The selection of Womack is the culmination of a six-month, nationwide search. Womack will direct the operation of 14 treatment sites and will oversee an annual budget of $11 million. The center employs approximately 250 individuals.

The center's former executive director, Russell A. Williams, resigned Dec. 5 after the board of trustees threatened disciplinary action for alleged misuse of funds.

The allegations came from a Nov. 1997 state audit, which claimed that Williams received as much as $29,500 in excess salary and received some $80,000 through double billing and filing fictional expense claims.