KENLY – The Kenly town council held their regularly scheduled monthly meeting Monday night. The council took no action regarding the employment status of town manager Justine Jones. Six weeks after she began work, the entire Kenly Police Department simultaneously submitted their resignations. The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office has been responding to calls in the Kenly city limits since August 2nd.
On Tuesday, the town council released the following statement about their meeting and the formation of a committee to search for a new police chief:
On Monday night, the Kenly Town Council made the prudent decision to take no action regarding the employment status of the Town Manager. Fact finding related to the outside investigation, which is being overseen by Town Attorney Chip Hewett to determine the root cause of the eight employee resignations, is expected to conclude this week. The results will be presented before the end of the month and Council has instructed the Attorney to call for a special meeting once the investigation is available. Seven employees voluntarily resigned and one retired, and under a Manager/Council form of government, Council has no authority to regulate these positions. Council did agree to form a committee that includes District Attorney Susan Doyle, Sheriff Steve Bizzell, and Mayor Hales to begin the search for a new police chief and to rebuild the Kenly Police Department.
Last week, reports surfaced the doors to the Kenly town hall were locked and the phones went unanswered during normal business hours, leaving citizens unable to readily access town services. Also, the remaining town employees were paid with cashier’s checks from a local bank as there was no one on staff to perform payroll duties.