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14 county employees fired in 6 months

April 18, 2011

Catawba County has fired about 1 percent of its workforce in the past six months.

Fourteen of the county's 1,100 workers received involuntary terminations of their positions for reasons ranging from unacceptable personal conduct to the employee's service no longer being needed.

"You're looking at a very small percentage (of employees)," said Cynthia Eades, Catawba County's Human Resources director. "Ninety-nine percent of the employees are doing exactly what they're supposed to."

Public employees' suspensions, demotions and terminations are now public record after a 2010 change in North Carolina law that allows access to once-private employee information.

The O-N-E requested records from Catawba County's government employers about involuntary employee termination since October, when the law took effect. Officials from Claremont, Catawba, Maiden and Conover reported no involuntary employee terminations since October.

The O-N-E chose not to release the identities of employees terminated from their positions with Catawba County.

Child support agent, terminated Oct. 12
Unsatisfactory job performance and unacceptable personal conduct

Deputy sheriff, terminated Oct. 22
Services no longer needed

Charge nurse II, terminated Nov. 17
Unsatisfactory job performance during nine-month probationary period

Animal control officer, terminated Dec. 10
Unacceptable personal conduct

Administrative assistant I, terminated Dec. 21
Unsatisfactory job performance

Office support specialist, terminated Jan. 21
Unsatisfactory job performance during nine-month probationary period

Deputy sheriff, terminated Jan. 31
Services no longer needed

Medical lab technician, terminated Feb. 4
Unsatisfactory job performance during nine-month probationary period

Income maintenance caseworker, Feb. 7
Unacceptable personal conduct

Detention officer, terminated Feb. 14
Services no longer needed

Teaching parent, terminated Feb. 23
Unsatisfactory job performance during nine-month probationary period

Office support specialist, terminated Feb. 28
Unsatisfactory job performance

Detention officer, terminated March 2
Services no longer needed

Network technician, terminated March 11
Unacceptable personal conduct

Under North Carolina's previous employee record laws, the state was the only one in the nation to release no more than an employee's current salary, the position held by the employee and the employee's job status.
The new law increases access to information about public employees' records, including information about suspensions and demotions.

Eades said the list of terminated employees doesn't include employees whose positions were voluntarily terminated, such as those who retired.

Conover City Manager Donald Duncan said he doesn't recall any employee firings or suspensions since Oct. 1. Decisions whether to terminate an employee is made on a case-by-case basis.

Currently, Catawba County has four available positions listed on its Human Resources website. These jobs include an hourly position in the Department of Social Services, a home health nurse, an animal care coordinator and an environmental health program administrator.

The positions are open until filled.

To comment on this story, visit www.observernewsonline.com.

Comments

Only the beginning

April 21, 2011 by LeeHarper (not verified), 3 years 11 weeks ago
Comment: 331

Is this an excessive amount? One tenth of a percent of the workforce is fired in half a year? I suspect that is low compared to private sector jobs.

You know these firings are politically motivated. Regime change at the Sheriff's office, people falling out of political favoritism, and family issues impact county government.

I say we ought to trim additional staff as our county government is completely bloated. Once again ask department heads to accept a 10% pay cut, trim out the perks (use of county vehicles, cell phones, computers for personal use, etc.) and combine job descriptions to eliminate redundant waste.

I also think it would be swell for an independent audit be conducted on hiring practices of county employees. See how many have had preferred treatment in getting a job because they know our county manager or related to someone that already works there.

No one questions the powers that are ruling. Our local TEA Party folks don't have guts to go against their fellow right wingers running the county and point out that we are wasting hard earned tax money on inflated salaries and needless positions.

I would be interested to know....

April 19, 2011 by Backbone (not verified), 3 years 11 weeks ago
Comment: 320

if all the these cases listed here were "justifiably terminated" and not the result of vendettas or political firings. The unacceeptable persxonal conduct sounds prettty ominous but the services no longer needed sounds fishy. That could be due to some issue that is more murky, perhaps political or personal dislikes?

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