Blue Ridge City Council terminated Johnny Barron Earley from his position as Street Supervisor today.
Council made the decision this afternoon during a called meeting, which lasted approximately thirty minutes.
At the beginning of the meeting, Mayor Donna Whitener called for an executive session to discuss personnel, which council approved. On July 24th, the council also called a special meeting to discuss the same personnel matter, which lasted nearly two hours, ending without a decision. At the time, no further information was made public. According to a discussion with FYN prior to the meeting, council member Michael Eaton said today’s meeting would be brief and would render a decision.
After coming out of executive session, Mayor Whitener delivered the official decision. She said following a series of complaints against Earley, the city ran an investigation.
“After gathering information from numerous witnesses, tracking devices on the city-owned cell phone, and as well as the city vehicle, upon numerous occasions Mr. Earley was repeatedly away from his job and absent from his job duties,”
Whitener said. The mayor then asked for a motion from council for Earley’s termination. Council Member Rodney Kendall then made a motion to terminate Earley and council proceeded to approve the motion.
Although Earley had been with the city since July 2007, the mayor said the city had only recently found out about these issues.
When asked if the city will hire another street supervisor to replace Mr. Earley, Mayor Whitener said she wasn’t sure at this time.