She Was FIRED Following Police Force SCANDAL


Not so fast, State Treasurer Dale Folwell declares. There is no way he can sign off on approval to hire Justine Jones as town manager for Spring Lake. Not after the way she was fired by Kenly. He won’t okay such a frivolous use of funds. He issued a formal statement on Thursday to back that up.

Spring Lake a no-go

North Carolina State Treasurer Dale Folwell insists he will not “approve the funds for Spring Lake to hire as its town manager a woman recently fired from the same job in Kenly.

On October 13, he issued a statement removing any confusion. He has law to back him up. “Folwell cited statutory authority and the local government commission’s financial oversight.

Spring Lake doesn’t handle their own accounting because state officials “took over the town’s finances a year ago.” Unlike some people in government, Dale Folwell believes in fiscal responsibility.

His primary job is to save the community “from drowning.” That has to be done before they can start returning “the town to financial health and operational stability.

The board of aldermen for Spring Lake voted 3-2 earlier in the week to go ahead and hire Justine Jones. She was town manager for Kenly until “the town’s entire police department resigned in July.” They accused her of “creating a toxic work environment.

Three months after taking the job, she was fired. That happened in August. She fought back against her perceived racism. The justice system decided she appeared to be the prejudiced one. After “Richland County, South Carolina, fired Jones, she sued the county and filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. That complaint was dismissed.

Not the right fit

Folwell was simply being a prudent and responsible administrator. Having to replace an entire force of police isn’t what the accounting types like to call “cost effective.” Thinking ahead, he decided to put out the fire before it could get started.

That information does not generate confidence that she is the right fit at this time to lead Spring Lake.” He looked into his crystal ball and told the alderman to go fishing for another candidate.

Spring Lake Alderman Raul Palacios was smart enough to oppose hiring Jones but he was outvoted. He ended up apologizing to his constituents for “another unfortunate development.” He and the other Jones opponent were counting on Folwell to be a safety net of sanity.

We knew the LGC would be part of this process and that they would have ‘final say‘ in the hiring process. I take the LGC’s stance very seriously, and while another public blemish on this town is unfavorable, our taxpayers’ fiscal health and trust matter more.

For two months now, Spring Lake has been looking for a town manager. Earlier this year, State Auditor Beth Wood “found more than half a million dollars in wrongful spending and missing taxpayer funds in Spring Lake.

She uncovered “an unidentified former accounting technician” had been “using more than $430,000 in town funds for personal use, including depositing money into her personal checking account and writing checks to cover nursing home fees.

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