Complaints Prompt Audit And Investigation At JCC

SMITHFIELD – An audit and separate independent investigation are in the process of being conducted at Johnston Community College in Smithfield. College officials declined to comment, however sources tell The Johnston County Report the audit is underway and an in-depth investigation will be launched very soon.

According to the sources, numerous allegations have been made in recent months to JCC administrators and the Board of Trustees, however none of the allegations could be immediately verified. Due to the nature of some of the allegations an outside firm has been requested to investigate.

The allegations include one or more JCC administrators failing to follow written policy and procedures, including the promotion process. Another allegation involves bullying by one official, and mismanagement of the budget. One email sent to The Johnston County Report said there was a “culture” of mismanagement and “incompetent administrators” who are protected even after complaints are made by lower-level staff.

One allegation involved an administrator who was told not to approve any additional salary increases due to budget constraints. Instead of complying, the administrator allegedly gave the employee a promotion to a new position that automatically came with a higher salary.

There were so many allegations of internal issues that it got the attention of the JCC Board of Trustees. None of the allegations we are told involve fraud or embezzlement.

We were able to confirm that administrators at Johnston Community College are no longer able to make promotions without Board of Trustee approval. Also, employee contract non-renewals must go before the college attorney.

Lyn Austin, Chair of the JCC Board of Trustees did not respond to our email request for a comment.

JCC President Dr. David Johnson declined to comment, referring all questions to Gordon Woodruff, the attorney for Johnston Community College.

Mr. Woodruff said Tuesday, “The Board of Trustees has received information which it is looking into. There is no set time frame for the process because it has just begun the review. At the present time there is no information to share. It is really just getting started.”

Woodruff would not be specific on what the investigation and audit would cover. “There is varying information that has come in. I am not privy to what you have received. I cannot comment on what you have been told. The Board is in the process of going through that and putting all that together.”

An outside law firm is expected to be hired as early as September to conduct the internal investigation.


  1. Like I said, bottom of the barrel institution that apparently is rife with nepotism, fraud and bullying.

    The administration follows their own unwritten rules but YOU PEASANTS BETTER WEAR YOUR MASKS!

    Rules for thee but not for me. Typical leftist BS.

    • ….How is this leftist? Also there have been multiple positve COVID cases on campus since the first week of August, the masks are to protect us.

  2. It’s sad that so many people had to suffer while working there and lose their jobs due to this “culture” .

  3. Why isn’t the state auditors’s office conducting the investigation? It would be cheaper for the tax payers of Johnston County and more open. An attorney hired by the college may be biased toward its employer.

  4. I could be a source of information concerning the gross administrative mismanagement and incompetent/unqualified administration absolutely brow beating, threading, demeaning, non-renewing for no valid reason, etc. As a employee under all three presidents, I can undoubtedly attest to the toxic, hostile culture of the current administration. The sooner the “house is completely cleaned,” the sooner JCC can once again become the crown jewel of Johnston county that it once was!!!!

  5. The incompetence at JCC is mind boggling! It has been sad to watch so many good people leave JCC because of its unfair practices and favoritism. It does not matter if you have the education and credentials – you will never move up. It does not matter if you come in everyday, work hard, and give your all – you will never move up. They would rather hire from the outside for positions where many loyal JCC employees are well qualified for. I have seen people going into positions without even having to go through the interview process. There are no rules for the upper administration – only for the staff who do all the work and get paid nothing! I have never seen poorer morale than I have seen in the last years. Such a shame the “higher hierarchy” has such power!

  6. Leadership has destroyed morale, and extremely talented people have left JCC because of the toxic environment. More are leaving. Anyone that takes a look at the past year of hiring practices, the personnel that have left, and who has received extra benefits all revolve around the same people.

    There is no inclusion at JCC, leadership will look employees in the face and smile, but destroy them behind their back. The lack of trust in JCC leadership is appalling, it’s actually amazing some of the VP’s and AVP’s are clueless to it.

    There is no acceptance. If you’re not a part of the click, you will be treated less.

    People are afraid to speak out, and the leadership know it. The threat of non-renews, verbal abuse, and bullying have kept 99% of employees scared to speak out.

    The saddest part of this whole situation is that JCC has the potential, location, community, and resources be be an amazing institution. That potential will never be reached under this leadership, because all of the good talent leave to other organizations because of the toxicity.

    If you really want to know how bad it is, there’s a saying; “If the action and words of someone contradict, their actions will show their true nature”. I personally have had leadership look me in my eyes, smile, and completely lie.

    Want verifiable and proven information? There’s plenty of people like myself that want to see the leadership that has failed the college and community be held accountable.

    • The discrimination, preferential treatment, hostility and incompetent promotion to administration began in April 2010 with the first institutional reorganization. The advice was you either get on the bus or get off. In other words, go along or suffer the consequences. The administration began its purge or “trouble makers and malcontents” that summer and it has never stopped. It is completely unacceptable for this to have gone on for a decade. It isn’t as if the board members didn’t know…….they were told over and over and over to the point that one replied in frustration, “we are not getting involved in personnel matters.” Where there is smoke there is always fire. The response and continued inaction constitute severe abdication of positional responsibility to the employees of the institution. The work environment is completely hostile and toxic unless you are in the favored clique/cabal. Nearly all of the experienced, passionate, loyal, dedicated and loyal staff and faculty have left out of frustration, non renewal or retirement. JCC has had to depend on high school student enrollment for years, in fact any growth has been from that……..not from adult student enrollment, which historically had been the case. As someone who devoted 36 years of my life to JCC in various roles in the institution…….it saddens me beyond description to see how the administrators have almost destroyed this once wonderful college. I invite any trustee to contact me (JoCo Report has my email). I encourage JoCo Report to do an investigative reporting series on the dysfunction of the college over the last 10 years. If anyone is truly interested in learning the truth…..interview any former employee who has left within the last 5 or more years. It doesn’t matter whether they left for retirement, better opportunities or were non renewed, they will give you great insight. Some current employees may be fed up enough to be honest and forthright as well. I can only hope the current administration is held completely accountable for damaging a once fantastic post secondary educational institution.

  7. As a current employee of JCC, I can tell you morale is at an all time low. Staff is fed up with the higher ups getting lucrative raises while the worker bees have only seen three 1.2% raises in the last 10 years! For more insight to how things are done here, last week they held a town hall with 300+ in attendance. No one was allowed to ask any questions directly, rather the President read from pre-picked questions which, obviously, he had plenty of time to come up with a shuck and jive answer. Not sure who they were trying to fool but most saw right through it.

  8. This article and the comments sadden me and are very disheartening. I know JCC very well and all of the those involved. I will say Johnston Community College is a great place for our students to learn and we need to be proud to have this institution in our community. Continue to support the efforts of the college because our citizens and the workforce depend on the many credentials awarded by JCC. It is a good place to be for students.

    With that said, I will say that Dr. Johnson is a good man and is very brave in his leadership. He tries to do the right thing, with much resistance from the very people he entrust to help lead the institution. Some of the cancers at the institution are at the *** and ** level, who have been known to go against him behind his back to their staff undermining his authority. They purposely attempt to sabotage him because of their own agenda. If your staff does not support you and they attempt to undermine you then they should be let go….no ifs ands or buts about it.

    Dr. Johnson if you are reading this or if someone reads this tell him to identify these individuals as he should already know who they are and do some corrective action. They have damaged your legacy and your reputation. When a person is hired to manage their colleagues whom they have worked with for years at the same level there is no governance there (*****/***’s), especially when this group basically vetoed a decision to hire a suitable candidate from the outside. I believe that some of the ***** outright bully Dr. Johnson.

    As for the toxic culture, I don’t think it exist in every department, but the college does use the end of the fiscal year as a time to non-renew employees. This is a very anxious time of year all. The only people who don’t have to fear loosing their jobs are at the top no matter how bad of a leader they are. This is used as intimidation and retaliation amongst a few supervisors. Over the years it has been said in department meetings that if someone doesn’t do something we just non-renew them. There is no cause and in North Carolina you don’t need to provide any explanations but what about respect. Just this past spring we non-renewed a number of employees which many of the decisions to do so was highly questionable. Coming off of a covid year when there has been federal funds given due to the affects of the pandemic no one should have been let go.

    There have been so much chatter coming out of various areas regarding some ********* and the treatment of their employees. The Student Success and Advising Center does not feel like a welcoming environment. I have had students, and coworkers tell me they don’t want to go over there. One of the staff was let go after 18 plus years of dedicated service to the college, who I have always worked well with and referred many students over to him. I have heard that it may have had something to do with not agreeing with the *******. I also heard that another member of the team was let go who she had disagreements with. This is information that is spreading all over campus.

    I have gone over to the student success center and to meet with some of the staff and felt the need to leave myself as they were on eggshells. No one should have to deal with that type of work life. We have no way of holding the Directors and our supervisors accountable for their lack of leadership. By the way how do you fire someone who has not been on a corrective action plan for anything after 18 years, that is messing with retirement and livelihood. It is evil!

    Lastly, I would like to reiterate that JCC is a great place to work and be. I know Dr. Johnson is the President here and ultimately the burden is his to bear as the leader, but I ask all that read this article and this post to not place all the blame on him. He trust the wisdom of those who is running the departments. Some of them have gotten it wrong and has created the environment that is currently JCC. The Board of Trustees and Dr. Johnson have now got to win the trust of the community. The only way to do that is to identify the people who are the bullies act accordingly. Identify the people who are going behind your back and trying to promote their friends or increase their salaries and act accordingly, identify those who are non-renewing good employees because of retaliation and act accordingly.

    Dr. Johnson should remain, but after it all said and done his leadership should not look the same.

    Plus the article said none of the allegations are about fraud or embezzlement….. so what are they investigating really…….at this point it is about a difference of opinions……and hiring an outside firm for an investigation is using unnecessary money…….which they could use for something else…..

    • Dr. Johnson is a nice person, but he isn’t a leader. His answer to conflict is to ignore it.

  9. I rode that bus for the last 10 years of my career. Yes the driver is a good man but that does not make him a good driver. My point is being a good person does not make you a good leader.
    If the college is allowed to select who does the investigation then administration will come out smelling like a rose.

  10. While they are looking at these complaints they should also look at some criminal history of an employee that is still there. Arrested for cocaine at least once and a DUI at least once in separate occasions. Sad that they don’t do background checks on employees periodically.

    • Those who live in glass houses probably shouldn’t throw stones. If you were an employee, you’d know that background checks are done by HR and you’d know that your comment has nothing to do with the investigation into mismanagement and fiscal misconduct. This sounds more like something coming from a disgruntled former employee.

      • First of all I’m not a disgruntled former employee! However, I do pay attention to this JoCo website and see who is arrested on a daily basis and just happen to know this person does in fact work at JCC and still does!!!! They are also on a few of the committees. Now, if HR truely did their job out there this person should not be employed any longer. How would you like to know these type of people are around your kids every day?? Oh yeah, this is where all the mismanaging usually begins if you didn’t know when people put their friends in higher places due to favors.

  11. A leader who hoards 50k in raises for himself while the lower level workers get squat is not nice or good.

    • The fact that all non-renewals now have to go through the attorney tells me he/they were abusing the contract position classification.

  12. Hi, current employee here.

    I have only worked at JCC for about a year now, but I can say it is the best community college in NC that I have worked for. This is the third community college I’ve worked at and if you want to experience a toxic workplace, visit one of the other CCs I’ve worked at. I have felt the freedom to express my concerns to my supervisor and they have always been addressed. Never have I ever felt scared or worried to express my opinions. I believe Dr. J is doing his best to lead in these unprecendented times. There has been the creation of a Culture, Diversity, Equity, and Belonging committee which I believe is working hard to make sure all voices are heard. I work in the Success Center and never feel like I am walking on eggshells, quite the opposite. And just so that people are aware, a person cannot simply be fired without it being taken up the chain of command first. Middle management cannot fire someone, it has to be approved by upper level management.

    • Well, a Culture, Diversity, Equity and Belonging committee is complete Marxist liberal progressive metastasis in the college. This is symbolic and symptomatic of the”woke” culture anti-American garbage currently all to pervasive in government and higher education. If the college was true to its mission and truly had strong leadership, that type of committee would not be on campus nor would any semblance of LGBTQ presence. Educators should stick to academics only AND administrators should have to be in the classroom at least 20 years before they venture into administration. If this was the necessary job experience for any admin position I dare say the ranks of administration at JCC would be depleted……in fact, I know it would from my experience there. Pathetic!!

      • Alright, “glock lover”, you’re really showing your a** here. You don’t believe that diversity should be celebrated on campus? By the way, I am a gay, nonbinary person and never has a person complained about my skills when it comes to helping them at the college, in fact, my services are requested….so you don’t think we should have LGBTQ representation on campus? Do you not realize what year it is? Do you not know that the United States was founded by immigrants? Your ancestors are immigrants. Unless you are Native American, you come from immigrants. So keep that Marxist liberal crap to yourself. Everyone should feel like they belong. Grow up.

        • Gay and non-binary person huh? Well, that tells me volumes (dispositional attributions.). LOL!!! Despite my having studied Marxist ideologies and strategies for incremental systemic implementation of its tenants at the macro and micro-societal levels for more than 40 years, AND knowing that it requires a level of erudition, objectivity, openness/receptivity on the part of one who is receiving a message; I will exercise restraint in my desire to educate/inform you of empirical and historical facts. I cannot hope to accomplish in an email thread what would take years of true academic education and therapy to accomplish. As such, I will save my time and apply my energies (and lectures) to those who truly wish to learn. Enjoy your “run” at JCC. After you’ve been there a decade, then we can talk!

          • Wow @Concerned Jaguar, Glocklover voices a disagreement with you and you break out the curse words and telling him to grow up? I now see why you were hired at that institution. So close-minded that you can’t accept others’ opinion, experience, and/or perspective without resorting to profanity and attacks? All the while, you’re promoting a Culture, Diversity, Equity, and Belonging committee to ensure every voice is heard? Please tell me you see the problem with your reply. You’re one year into your tenure there with this last year being mostly online or working remotely? That doesn’t exactly give you the best footing to mount an argument. I’m glad your time there thus far is a positive one. However, take it from those who have worked at JCC, you’re still in the honeymoon phase of your tenure there. It won’t last long. Glocklover is generous in giving you a decade before your opinion changes while I give you 5 years under the current administration. My advice as a former employee there, don’t express your opinions, whether good or bad, to anyone….especially your supervisor. You’re correct, middle management alone can’t fire or non-renew your contract. It has to be approved by the AVP, VP, and David Johnson. David Johnson is culpable in all of this because didn’t provide the necessary oversight of his VPs and because it all rest on his shoulders. Hence, the large salary that accompanies his position.

    • @ Concerned Jaguar…..Great comments, I agree with you and I am completely aware of how the dismissal process works. The immediate supervisor makes the recommendation to upper management and they aren’t going to disagree in most cases, just don’t make people too uncomfortable and there should not be any issues. I agree with your response to @glocklover, but just know this person has been at JCC for some 30 years and his sentiments are representative of a deep rooted undercurrent and toxic mentality of some at the college. As you approach your 1 year anniversary be very observant of how people act and respond to some of your ideas. In this political climate decisions about JCC are made based off of how the county views the leadership and what is perceived to be allowed at the institution. @glocklover’s comments are spot on with how many feel behind closed doors at the decision making table. Once you’ve been here for a while you will hear about certain stances from certain folks and it will piss you off, because out front it is one thing but behind closed doors its a complete other. The decision to make all campus wide emails go through an approval process was partly because an employee sent out an email regarding the Spectrum club. This rubbed people wrong and was partly the reason why that employee left JCC.

      I support what you are doing and echo your statement of where we are and what year we are in. I have tried to be objective and be a good judge of character based on the many interactions I’ve had with people here at JCC after being here for more than a decade. I have just come to find out that some are not who you think they are and when they talk to certain people those conversations tend to get out. Keep up the good work!

      I hope you are working with the Culture group and help bring some information, knowledge, guidance, and wisdom to our campus regarding the LGBTQ+ community. I will be right there and let you know this is me!

      Our nation is changing, has changed, and will continue to change and I hope no one in our institutional leadership feels the way Mr. Glocklover feels, because think about what kind of damage and trauma he has inflicted over the course of his career with his rhetoric and hateful thought process……

      Be careful and keep you eyes wide to what goes on around you……Glad you are having a good experience.

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