Town Of Kenly Payroll, Public Access Issues

KENLY – Days after the entire Kenly police force quit, more problems are being reported in the Town of Kenly. On Tuesday, August 2nd at 2:00pm, the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office assumed patrols and law enforcement protection in the Kenly city limits.

Former police chief Josh Gibson and his four full-time officers announced July 20 they were resigning effective August 2 due to allegations of a hostile work environment caused by newly hired town manager Justine Jones. Town Clerk Sharon Evans and Utilities Clerk Christy Jones also resigned the same day.

The Johnston County Report received complaints the door to the Kenly Town Hall remained locked Thursday during normal business hours. All calls placed to the Town Hall Thursday afternoon were reportedly unanswered leaving citizens unable to access the Town Hall for public matters. A message instructed citizens to dial 911 in case of an emergency.

Also, the remaining town employees did not receive their standard direct deposit pay checks this week. There was reportedly no one on town staff to perform payroll duties. Instead, town employees were given cashier’s checks from a local bank.

The Town Council has ordered an independent investigation from an outside firm into the resignations and complaints against the new manager. The firm began interviewing the former town employees on Tuesday. A report from the firm is expected in the next few weeks.

Attempts to reach Justine Jones for a comment were not successful. She was hired as the town manager on June 2, 2022.

30 COMMENTS

  1. These cowards quit on their own town over not being in a happy place at work. They were not comfortable being called out for the nonsense that has been going on with the force and decided to drag an entire town down in the process. Selfish and childish!

    • What loyalty should an employee hold for a town? Are town employees exempt from getting other jobs? I know that they all have new jobs already and have moved on. Why is it their fault for seeking better work and pay without the hassle of a horrible supervisor? Seems ignorant to think they are the reason the town suffers.

      • These COWARDS swore under oath to protect this town. The fact that you view a police force quitting on their town the same as a guy leaving Wal mat for CVS is scary. I personally would NEVER trust those COWARDS again with protecting me or my town.

        • I find your views of public sector employment enlightening. I feel as though you see it as a lifelong appointment with the inability to seek better employment. I left my position in local law enforcement to work in the private sector. Am I a coward too? I am going to assume you have a caps filled answer for this reply as well. I will just let you rant on about topics you already have your mind made up about.

          • I have no rants to give. I also will not down play the fact that an entire police force walked away from protecting this town along with a few others when the going got tough. Or at least so they say. They abandoned their own people and left others in possible safety danger. It is dishonorable and untrustworthy to do what they have done. If you left under the same context as they did, yes you would be seen as the same.

        • working as a chief of kenly for 20 years is being a coward? they seem to have openings but I doubt you would meet even the minimum standards to apply.

  2. In some smaller towns, the Town Mgr is the public information officer as well. Since the new Town Mgr is not taking calls from the press, wonder how she’s able to separate calls from the citizens of Kenly. Something tells me she’s not communicating with them as well.

  3. Since so many resigned, why not hire new employees. I have seen several posts of persons applying for positions. Why is this matter a big issue. Replace bodies with bodies. The acts and decisions made by others Should not stop the progression of a city government. A Emergency Plan Should have been put in place.

    • Have you actually looked into her employment history? Fired and made false allegations against others. Also, Kenly’s last town manager was also a person of color and they had no problems then. People weren’t turning I. Their resignations less than 2 months in.

    • Why does the color of her skin matter? Her ability to perform her job is what’s at question here not the color of her skin. Look into her work history and that should tell you that its not that she is just “progressive.” If race was the problem why didn’t they all quit under the last town manager then?

  4. I believe the town should suspend the town manager since there is supposedly a active investigation going on that involves her. I also believe the council members could step in and take on some responsibilities since they allowed the mass resignations and havenโ€™t look at hiring new employees

  5. So many experts on what’s happening. As I look through the comments, there’s some pretty serious accusations on both sides. What happens when you find out the truth and it’s not in accordance with your ideology or opinion? Are people grown up enough to accept they’ve been wrong? Judging from the comments here from both sides, no.

  6. As a local business owner-citizen letโ€™s put aside how our town staff say they were treated. Good, bad, whatever, thatโ€™s not the major topic here. Iโ€™d like to know WHY in the world would Council even consider someone who sued a previous town!!! WHY would Triangle J even recommend someone like that??? Where is the Mayor??? Where are our Council members at and why havenโ€™t they responded??? Come on Council, yโ€™all always say the citizens are never involved with the town and now we are here demanding answers as to WHY you would even consider hiring someone who was in a lawsuit in a previous town!!! Thatโ€™s just a BAD hire, period. Did Council not do reference checks or background checks??? Hello, Council, knock knock, where are you??? I think each Council member needs to explain WHY they voted to hire this person. Whoโ€™s paying for the towns lawsuit to investigate her, us taxpayers again cause Council made a BAD hire. I donโ€™t care how many degrees you have, you NEVER hire someone who had pending lawsuits in previous jobs, especially government!!! Rally up Kenly folks, tomorrow nights meeting will be an interesting show!!!

  7. so she went two weeks knowing that payroll was due, water bills needed to get paid and the town still had waste management and public works working….her solution? hide in the office and lock the door. where does the race card play in that scenario?

  8. I have lived in several places including near Washington DC and Kenly and Selma and most of Johnston County really, is the most racist place I have ever lived. My dad left here in the 1940s and racism was one of the reasons. His father openly had black friends and even had them over for lunch and dinner and on the weekend to play cards etc. That was mostly unheard of in Kenly back then. My father always said racist people were born or taught to hate with their heart whereas he was taught to love with his. I was also taught to love, although I will say I can’t wait until all the racists and bigots of the world die off. I really do hope this is not about race, it could be about race and her being a women. Some men still think women should not be in charge over them. Whatever the issue, the good ole boy network that was prevelant in Kenly for so long is hopefully gone for good, but there is still the Sheriff Department to deal with. There are still a bunch of the good ole boy network of people working there too. Slowly but surely we can rid JoCo of the bad apples I hope. We has a county and country must move forward, learn from the past, teach it correctly and not make the same mistakes. First thing would be to ban the Confederate Flag..because the South lost that war. Time to admit it and move on. We have an American flag that can take and should take its place. Hopefully Kenly will move forward and grow and become a bigger and better town in spite of all this nonsense. And for petes sake, someone get Bojangles to build that restaurant they have been talking about for years – it will not hurt sales at the Selma one. We need more decent places to eat and less auto parts and convenience stores.

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