KENLY – In a sudden move, the police chief and all full-time officers with the Kenly Police Department resigned this afternoon.
Police Chief Josh Gibson and his four full-time officers submitted their letters of resignation to Town Manager Justine Jones.
Also, Town Clerk / Assistant Town Manager Sharon Evans and Utilities Clerk Christy Jones tendered their letters of resignation.
All seven town employees gave two week notices to the newly hired town manager.
In a post on his personal Facebook page, Chief Gibson said, “I have put in my 2 weeks notice along with the whole police dept. Sharon Evans and Christy Thomas with the town of Kenly after 21 years of service… the new town manager has created an environment I do not feel we can perform our duties and services to the community.. I do not know what is next for me. I am letting the lord lead the way.. I have loved this community. It has become family and one of my greatest honors to serve.. God bless you all in Kenly…”
We’re told the five police resignations, along with the assistant town manager and utilities clerk, happened simultaneously, just before the town hall closed at 5:00pm today.
The new town manager has reportedly been accused of micromanaging employees.
Justine Jones was hired June 2, 2022. At the time Jones said, “I welcome the challenge of overseeing the Town’s operations and I am looking forward to working with the Mayor, Town Council, and the talented and committed Staff of Kenly.”
The Kenly Police Department employs three part-time officers who work limited hours. It is unknown if the part-time officers also resigned today or if they will remain with the agency.
We are working to learn more about the sudden resignations and what will happen next.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
That’s not a good look for a town manager that was just hired a couple months ago. This will be interesting…
Or it could be a bad look for those that resigned
I doubt that. I’d say it’s pretty obvious who looks bad in all that. I’d have to assume 7/8 are right and the one is in the wrong
Who knows? 1 person could be telling the truth and the other 7 aren’t…but let’s wait to see.
It’s been about 7 weeks since the new manager started work (6-02-2022). Who quits a career of two decades of service because he can’t develop a functional working relationship with his new manager (after only 7 weeks)? Quitting reflects poorly on the depth of his commitment to the community her served. The chief’s decision likely influenced the decisions of his police officers and the two clerks. He didn’t retire, he didn’t allow himself to be hired/recruited to a better opportunity, he just quit. More details will surface about the new manager’s leadership style and expectations of her employees, but 7 weeks is an awfully short response time.
In the first 7 weeks most new managers are asking a lot of “why” and “how” questions about departmental processes. In the first 7 weeks new managers are getting a fresh look at the budget, developing relationships, and setting mild expectations. The chief claims she was a micro-manager: was she showing up at traffic stops and tearing up tickets, was she re-coding the software that prints the monthly water bills, was she changing your employees’ work schedules without notice (day shift to night shift, 8hrs vs 12hrs, weekdays vs weekends)? How much real micro-managing evidence did you gather in just 7 weeks?
As an established leader in the department, how many times did the chief meet with the new manager to discuss his concerns and offer suggestions? Did the chief and the new manager invest enough time listening to each other’s points of view? If the differences were so great did the chief at least ask a 3rd party to privately mediate (i.e…council members, mayor, etc)? Did the chief quit because the new manager asked for his resignation (and the other employees), or was this his ploy to surprise her, and then use social media to build sympathy? A number of people see your “quitting” as a power play to shame the new manager, get her fired, and then have the citizens “beg” you and your staff-of-quitters to return….thus strengthening your power/influence over the town.
Remember chief, good team leaders are also good team members: you were the leader of the police department, but you were also a member of the new manager’s team. With all of the available options, you decided to quit after 7 weeks (and likely influence your staff to do the same).
Not on the chief who is a good man. Sorry to bust your bubble twinkle toes. But he is one of the nicest people you will ever meet and has many times gone above and beyond. He will have plenty of opportunities knocking at his door. Funny how you doubt his commitment when she is the one coming in and throwing a tantrum. She never should have been hired but once again they are trying to be pc
I have no doubt the Chief is a good man, but for you to criticize the new Town manager as a tyrant is not appropriate because you don’t know her personally. And as a Town manager she have every right to make changes on how the town is run as she see fit. She was hired to make the Town of Kenly better and sufficient. Therefore, if anyone have a problem or feel uncomfortable with her leadership they should in fact resign.
when a city manager writes a police chief up for NOT BEING AT HIS OFFICE SEAT, but being in the hallway, she is on a power trip. Who could work when she can write you up for anything? They should ALL sue her
*in the hallway hanging out and running his mouth instead of doing his job.
suggest you read about town manager last employment – fired 3/2015 :
Power trip!!! I agree with you. Since the “George Floyd” incident, it has become a severe problem in the US…not just Kenly but you will be hearing more and more in local towns very soon. Accuse ME of being racial if you want to, that is up to you. I know what I know because it’s already in the “works”.
All very excellent observations and questions.
I thought you always sign your name Davenport?
this does look like a davenport post. he has been a thorn in law enforcement since his been down here.
Hello John and BLm. Feel free to compare my writing style to this “Davenport” you have both referenced. Maybe we have similar styles and word choices, but I assure you that I am not him/her. Including this message, I’ve only posted on this website 3 times (all today). I’m just a guy that had the day off work, and clearly has some free time on his hands. I wish you both good fortunes.
Talk about someone quick to make up his mind and present all kinds of assumptions. Why don’t you take your own advice and see how this plays out? I would not want you on my jury.
Ok, help me out, if she micro managed him, why did everyone else leave, RED FLAG. Since he mentioned the Lord, the Bible say it was good for us to reason together in UNITY, He is not the Author of CONFUSION, and to OBEY THEM THAT HAVE THE RULE OVER YOU AS UNTO THE LORD. As a vet I didn’t like many of our POTUS but because they were the POTUS I still respected everything about them. If I’m not guilty of anything why would I quit instead of retiring RED FLAG. For the last couple of weeks I’ve not seen KPD, which I thought was unusual, so this Wednesday didn’t just happen, they’ve been gone long before that. I hope his supporters support him when the dirt surface, that town is more divided, and exposing the true character of the resigned members
“Since he mentioned the Lord, the Bible say it was good for us to reason together in UNITY, He is not the Author of CONFUSION, and to OBEY THEM THAT HAVE THE RULE OVER YOU AS UNTO THE LORD.”
Those scriptures are primarily in reference to the fellowship of believers in CHRIST within the church! They don’t apply to all situations in general. There are limits, however, to how far we can follow those in authority over us, depending on the situation. In this case we really don’t know if the “micro-management” includes some areas of conscience for the chief! We can’t assume that all involved here are true Christian believers! Or else, you run the risk of having to submit to an unGODLY employer, who may have some rather unsavory and sinful motives!
Obeying them that have the rule over you is directly related to your natural employer. Not debating your post cashme. If people who are professing salvation have a real workable relationship with God then we can help those who don’t.
I don’t have a dog in the fight, and who knows right now exactly what happened? Without more facts, how can someone seriously come up with an opinion right now? I read the other comments sticking up for both sides, and either side could be absolutely right. On another note, I have been to and been through Kenly multiple times, and it is crappy place. I avoid Kenly at all costs. Anyone wanting to keep it the same should move to South Carolina. Key is an example of “not keeping Carolina clean” maybe or maybe not this new person was right for the job, but for sure they need somebody to get rid of the old and in with the new, or else Kenly will surely never get any better.
From the way your comment reads, it appears to me that it may have been written by the new town manager.
Hello Supergnat. No, I’m just a guy who received a friendly text message about this resignation (probably because I live in JoCo). I read Mr. Gibson’s post, in which he highlighted his 21yrs of service and the new environment. I also read the article which mentioned allegations of micromanaging. Those allegations are consistent with his post, even though the article did NOT quote the chief using the term ‘micromanage’. He specifically cited the new manager as his reason for quitting, and then used the phrase “do not feel we can perform our duties and services”. Micromanaging implies she was so close to employee-assigned tasks that she made the chief, his officers, and the clerks ineffective. His public post and his choice of words subtly solicit sympathy in his favor. Anything is possible, but in just 7 weeks…I have some balanced skepticism.
I don’t believe anybody looks “good” in this situation, and I doubt anyone will be proven “completely right” when the dust settles. I suspect most readers of this article have been managed by others, managed others, or both. Let’s reflect upon our employment experiences. Do we quit our long-held jobs over 7weeks of perceived micro-management? As new managers do we quit leading because our team provides resistance or doesn’t mesh with our style (even though she didn’t quit)? Aren’t we flexible/tough enough to deal with some new workplace friction, or new expectations, during a 7 week period of time? Doesn’t micromanagement have to wear on people over time to make them quit? I promise I would have a different initial reaction if she had been there for 7 months. We’ve all seen poor-fitting leaders micromanage a team to dust in 6-months or so, right?
To quit after 7 weeks, I’m expecting more compelling reasons than ‘micromanage’. I’m looking for: 1) significantly decreasing employee safety, or 2) requiring employees to commit crimes/falsify documents, or 3) vehemently disagreeing with a department’s long-term vision/budget. Did she give the employees the “my way or the highway” speech? Did she make it clear the current employees had no long-term future with the department, or imply that she wanted those resignations? Was she going to merge your duties with those of another town? It is possible, and examples like that have occurred in our nation’s history; but wouldn’t those be more compelling reasons to cite after 7weeks than just “micromanaging”.
I will re-phrase one part of my earlier post….either the new manager or the chief could have asked for a 3rd party informal private mediator to improve the situation (not just the chief). Somebody could have grabbed both of them by the shirt collar and gotten this worked out over some chicken wings, bbq, and sweet tea…..before they all ended up on the news!!!
Such a profound argument, the biggest questions for some is “WHY”, and others say, “They were good to us”, who is the us? I believe it was more about the integrity of the former employees that raised the conflict, and that lead to the cop out of Micro Management. Sometimes people get complacent, and lose sight of the oath they took, law enforcement should never get comfortable with doing business as usual.
Supergnat, clearly I’m not, however I am a veteran who defended this small town, county, and country. As a veteran we respect government whether black, white, Hispanic ….etc, you get my point. So people are mad she is doing her job, if you like it, I love it, if you don’t, I still love it, I am big on accountability as a white American. There checkmate.
Jones sued her previous employer in Richland County, South Carolina, for gender and racial discrimination after she was fired in 2015. Should have raised red flag anytime a public employee sues.
Be careful what you believe. It’s not the manager but the appearance some employees want people to see about the manager. Keep watching and you will see what truly happens and where the fault stands.
Another black eye for a town plagued with bad news. Maybe this is for the best. New blood.
Sad time, I understand you might not agree with the new hired manager but to leave the entire of Town of Kenly without police is down right wrong. There are people that need support so the Sherriff’s Department/ Highway Patrol for the County has to pick up the slack. If that manager is that bad the board should fire him. Don’t let the people of Kenly that need a police presence down.
This is what happens when small towns hire people who have never lived a day in the town they are hired to run and do a job. If ya never lived here you sure don’t need to walk in and start micro managing your way into a place where people who have been working for years and know what every day task are. I’ve seen this happened to many towns. I knew this was coming when they loss a great employee a few months ago and he was very qualified for the job.
And this is how to keep the good ol’ boy system in place. God forbid you hire an outsider an enact real change because you want things “like they used to be.”
Gary Millard Langston Jr.: Her. Assume much?
I guess someone came in and tried to re-invent the wheel.
I have lived here half my life been a business owner the entire time never seen anything like this but when entire town employees walk out I think you might need a new town manager
Why, add facts and not baseless responses, the county whether you noticed is going in a different direction, it’s time to come out of the stone ages people.
That’s none of your business. Unless if you live there, you can’t say that it should come out of the stone age. If the majority of the people like it that way, then that’s how it should stay. Change shouldn’t be forced on people who have spent the majority of their career dedicated to a Town, just to see an outsider walk in and change everything up. “If it’s not broke, it does not need fixing.”
Actual I did leave there, and was greeted by all the Kenly police on duty the day I moved in 10 years ago with a bogus complaint, However I stood my ground as a Veteran of this United States. I will still defend this country whether foreign or domestic.
Business as usual, different doesn’t mean better but change doesn’t hurt. How can people want better for their children, yet don’t want change. Change happens whether we want it or not. Out with the old in with the new which is change too. What are the people of Kenly afraid of, crime was on the raise with the old, so they wanted to try something new, new management when allowed May bring new business to the small town. Clayton Wilber through a culture shock, however they are doing great things up there. How do you know you don’t like something until you try it
Facts? ah buddy, you of all people talking about facts. That word is far out of your vocabulary
Explain Fact Finder, live up to your name
Some people seem to find their purpose in life in micromanaging their subordinates to the bone.
It brings much anxiety and stress to those employees when you can never do enough, it kills morale and completely robs one of finding any joy or satisfaction in their work, and they’ll often end up hating their job.
Sadly, there are many supervisors who should NEVER be in charge of another human being!!
Is this the same Kenly police department that was investigated (and reprimanded) for illegal behavior, including falsifying official reports (https://abc11.com/kenly-police-department-trinity-hendersonkk-o-investigation-state-bureau-of/5550995/), or had an officer plead guilty to tasering a man to death (https://abc11.com/jesse-sanitfort-guilty-plea-alexander-thompson-2016-death/6816324/), or had the chief arrested for sex with minors (https://abc11.com/david-mangum-kenly-police-chief-arrest/1059936/)? Asking for a friend…
Don’t forget the Kenly officer arrested for solicitation of minors (then was arrested for fleeing to elude and DWI)
Oooo weee! I think “Tell the Truth” and “Queen B”, might have hit the nail on head!!!
And none of those people are there now! And that’s the truth!! And been gone a long time! Why punish the ones doing a good job… what’s has the town manager done??? Nothing
@Facts: Maybe the question to ask… What was the prior culture that kept allowing all those bad things to happen? Why were prior town managers allowing such a corrupt force? Maybe the fact that a new town manager arrived and began changing things, meant that the remaining bad apples decided to leave?
Yeah they are gone but no thanks to the chief. He wanted to let the pedophile officer resign, no charges pressed, no report filed, so this officer could continue to be in a position to reoffend. Thanks to JoCo DA office for actually holding officers accountable. Maybe that’s what the manager was doing??
I have seen things going on in this town every since I was of age to notice. It’s about time!!
are you talking about the meth head that was driving at 150 mph running from police who was taking bumps of meth during the chase? that guy? would you rather him or the officer babysit your children?
It’s almost as if Justine had an agenda…I wonder what it could be?
Take out the trash or rather let it take itself out…
Rather not surprised when you install a Northerner, with their grand views to reform and reeducate a small Southern town, that something like this occurs. Maybe next time, hire local.
Brett the world has changed, the county has changed. Joco is coming out of the stone ages, and it is about time. Read Joco reports
Keeping and conserving the traditions that made JoCo a great place to live; peaceful and quiet, has nothing to do with being “in the stone age.” We shouldn’t abandon those principles just because some Yankee comes down here and tells you they’re wrong and backwards.
hes a yankee so of course hes going to defend them. I believe he applied with kenly and got turned down.
BLM, sorry never tried to, never will try to, there isn’t enough money following in Kenly to support the family, as a vet I refuse to live in poverty, as a disable vet I don’t, Kenly has the highest property taxes in the county, I moved out of Kenly when my 2 Sheriff neighbors jumped ship and brought land in surrounding townships.
Think about the yankee, our roots started here, however NEWS FLASH L, Yankees are all over JoCo
I guarantee you, she’ll be outta there faster than a fat kid playing dodgeball.
She’ll be outta there faster than a fat kid playing dodgeball! Believe that
This isn’t the only place with this problem. New management comes in and tries to change everything about something they know nothing about. The Board won’t fire her though…they will be afraid to.
They didn’t want to work for a black women.
Absolutely baseless and unfounded. The race baiting gets us no where fast.
It looks pretty simple. The woman is in a power trip and needs to be fired
I pray this situation is resolved quickly in accordance with the Lord’s will.
Need some examples here people. Northern hate and “micromanaging” is pretty anonymous. Did they ask for reports on what you do all day?
The ol white and black race card. Happens everytime there’s people that can’t get along.
Don’t down play that, everyone should get along when the one the one on the bottom is trying to rule over their leader. Come on Jim Bob call it what it is, freedom of speech
May 30, 2022:
“The Kenly Town Council unanimously selected Justine Jones after a nationwide search that yielded 30 candidates, according to a May 11 town news release. The Triangle J Council of Governments conducted Kenly’s recruitment process.”
Some key phrases here: “unanimously selected”, “nationwide search”, and “30 candidates”
Can never read your comments. Too wide for phone screen. I would like to read them, but now I just skip anything you post.
Is this better Sam T.? Hope so!
May 30, 2022:
“The Kenly Town Council
after a nationwide search
that yielded 30 candidates,
according to a May 11
town news release.
The Triangle J Council
Some key phrases here:
“nationwide search”, and
Thanks. A lot easier to comprehend. Enjoy your posts NC Gal.
Just shows the BLATANT HYPOCRISY AND POWER TRIP, OF ALL COPS! They run the show, PERIOD!!! When that doesn’t happen, they whine like spoiled 3 year olds. Hope they are all brought up on charges, for dereliction of duties. They were likely running a criminal enterprise, and “ can not continue operating like before “. There was ABSOLUTELY SOME CRIMINAL ACTIVITY, OBVIOUSLY TO BE SWEPT UNDER THE RUG,TO SAVE THE TOWN MILLIONS IN LAWSUITS, but all of these cops, doing mostly nothing, didn’t just resign because they don’t like the new manager.
you sound like you have a lot of experience with police.
what criminal activity exactly? or is it just a broad statement so that you dont have present any sort of facts?
Well they have come and now the southern way of life here is and will be systematically destroyed by those that fled the places that they destroyed with their politics and beliefs. Bye bye good life in JC
The good ole boys finally have structure and accountability and can’t handle it !! I guess the clerk decided to follow the crew. Do they really care about their community 🤔?? Not! The town manager should stay in position, hire a new chief and officers. It’s definitely time for a change.
Baby, it’s all in the comments. The more I read these comments the more my eyes become open to this situation.
Sounds like the ones that resigned have a lot to hide and didn’t like the fact that someone new was coming in and about to expose them all. They didn’t give enough time to even get to know the new manager. Hey maybe they could had cut her in too. Small towns are all the same. Dillon county is just as corrupt if not even more so. It’s about time atleast one small towns trash cleaned up its own.
she wanted the police defunded well congrats! good luck to the citizens of kenly. betting a lot of folks have the date that the officers stop working circled and all night “events” happening. gonna have to raise the pay greatly to get any kind of help there.
If Sharon can’t put up with this town manager, that’s all I need to know. She’s trained and worked with more new town managers in her 21 years than I can count on 2 hands. She has the ability and the patience to work with anyone. I’m sure she truly has the town’s best interests at heart.
I’ve seen some negative comments about Josh and I’m a former ems member of Kenly ems and I know Josh personally and he is a great friend do anything to help someone don’t say something negative until you know the facts and those of you that said negative things if you know so much then why don’t you go and help your town get this fixed
Everyone bashing the PD and the chief about resigning but it’s not only the police that resigned. You can’t tell me the two clerks that resigned were crooked and standing in the way of change. My question is what are the town commissioners doing? Haven’t heard a peep out of them or the mayor yet.
You got that right
He took ownership as the leader of all that left, he went to the media, so as many are attacking the town manager as the leader of causing this issue, others are going after the mouth piece that reached out to all the news outlets. It’s not easy for anyone in leadership, there are those that will go with your vision as a leader and those who won’t, I have no personal problem with the man, but with his actions to leave a town he so love in an unsafe environment, I’m a veteran and we never left this country unsafe at anytime
TOWN COUNCIL MEETING TONIGHT @ 7;00!!!! 7/22/22. LET JOCO REPORT KNOW SO ALL MEDIA OUTLETS CAN REPORT!!!! KENLY HAS KEPT THIS MEETING CLOSED SO NO PUBLIC CAN VOICE CONCERNS!!!!! LOL – COUNCIL NEEDS TO LOSTEN TO THE PUBLIC!!!!! CHECK THE TOEN WEBSITE FOR THE AGENDA.
This is what happens when you hire an anti-police, pro criminal lifetime social justice warrior. The incompetent town manager, who’s only qualification is that of failed activist, has never held a real job. There’s a reason she bounces from town to town, and the truth will come out.
Hit the nail on the head.
Jones sued her previous employer in Richland County, South Carolina, for gender and racial discrimination after she was fired in 2015.
So she was sticking up for her rights? Is that bad?
from the 2015 incident:
Amazing how this story quickly fell from the headlines. It’s now below stories which appeared 5 days ago. I wonder why?
I know nothing about Kenly, just stumbled upon the story on Fox News, but reading these posts has made for an interesting lunch break.
I can’t wait to find out if employees throwing a tantrum will get you fired but sexually assaulting a citizen won’t.
read about Justin Jones while waiting to find out:
Bunch of snowflakes. Good riddens. Look at their cop cars. Windows tinted so you don’t know they are taking a nap on the job, looks so menacing because you know cops are supposed to be scary to the public. Typical police response when they get called out for thinking they are above the law
They were the police for those across the tracks, sorry you lost your personal security.
Diversity in action.
It appears to me that she is holding people accountable. The run loose and free is not acceptable and Justine is pointing an end to the corp like environment. They put in notices to provoke fear and acceptance. LETS SEE HOW MANY OF THEM WALK AND HOW MANY PULL THOSE RESIGNATIONS.
you think she should be able to micro manage? If a police chief needs to ask her a question BUT HAS TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT? if someone dies because she wouldn’t just answer a question? Sounds like she should NEVER be a town manager
What kind of thinking goes into launching “a nationwide search” for a town manager in a town of 1,300 people? That’s insane.
Hiring a SJW as a town manager has its rewards. Sounds like Kenly just hit the jackpot.
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