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.