Officials mum on what ‘actions’ led to dismissal
By Emily Weaver
Dunn Daily Record
ANGIER – A newly released termination letter sent to the former Angier police chief says Arthur Yarbrough “violated the Town’s Personnel Policy and engaged in actions contrary to what is expected of a Chief of Police for the Town of Angier.”
It does not specify what those “actions” involved.
Town Manager Gerry Vincent fired Yarbrough on Aug. 2, according to the letter obtained Friday by The Daily Record through an Aug. 9 public records request.
The letter requested Yarbrough return all “keys, cards, guns, ammo, items purchased by the Town, Town equipment or any other Town owned property.”
Angier officials remain mum on what led up to Yarbrough’s termination, though, citing laws that keep a lot of personnel records hidden from the public and the taxpayers who fund the salaries of government employees.
The Government Transparency Act of 2021 — trudging its way through the legislature — would change that. The bill requires local governments to describe and maintain the personnel actions of government employees in the public record. That includes when a paid official is hired, fired, promoted, demoted and other changes in rank. When a government employee is fired, the bill requires agencies to maintain a “copy of the written notice of the final decision of the head of the department setting forth the specific acts or omissions that are the basis of the dismissal.”
The bill is expected to move to a House judiciary hearing this week before it makes it to the floor for a vote.
Town attorney Dan Hartzog said they were awaiting Yarbrough’s decision on a hearing in August before they could release any information on his termination.
“… The Town is willing to provide you with a formal name-clearing hearing if you would like to participate in such a hearing,” Vincent wrote in the letter to Yarbrough. “Please note that a name-clearing hearing would not alter the decision to terminate your employment.”
It was unknown at presstime if that hearing was held.
Yarbrough was named police chief in March 2019 after starting as an interim chief earlier that year.
Lee Thompson is now serving as the town’s police chief.