Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mecklenburg County Manager's Immunity Idol

Mecklenburg County Commissioners met behind closed doors for nearly 3 hours Tuesday night to discuss County Manager Harry Jones and his most recent faux pas. As expected Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners voted to allow County Manager Harry Jones to retain the greatly coveted Immunity Idol.

Possessing the immunity idol allows, Jones to continue his reign without oversight. For the third time in nearly a year, the board was called upon to address the actions and incompetence of manager Jones yet the board continues to agree not to see, hear or say anything negative about Harry Jones.

The board late last night issued a carefully crafted white wash of the commissioners discussions and lack of action.

The official statement is as follows:

The Board met for an extended period of time in closed session to discuss performance issues with the County Manager. Here is the text of the Board's statement:

The Board has reviewed the actions of County Manager Harry Jones regarding the terms and conditions of former Area Mental Health Grayce Crockett’s resignation, including the payment of a negotiated amount to Ms. Crockett totaling $99,329.18. This involved a thorough review of County policy and the authority provided by the Board of County Commissioners to the County Manager. The Board also received and reviewed information on other negotiated resignations of County employees in recent years.

Based on this review, the Board believes the following:

1. The County Manager made a reasoned and sound decision in the best interests of Mecklenburg County taxpayers and had the authority to do so without prior Board approval.

2. The County Manager should have informed the Board in advance or immediately thereafter about the terms and conditions of Ms. Crockett’s negotiated resignation, including the amount paid to her in excess of what she was entitled to receive in accrued vacation and sick benefits, and the reasons he decided the payment was in the best interests of the County and taxpayers.

3. The County is limited by privacy laws regarding the amount and type of information that can be released to the public.

4. Although the information publicly released involving Grayce Crockett’s negotiated resignation was technically correct and was released in a good faith attempt to comply with North Carolina law, it provided a misleading impression to the Board and the public.

5. The County Manager erred by not timely correcting this misimpression.

6. The County Manager made a mistake by not informing the Board in advance or immediately afterwards about the terms and conditions of Grayce Crockett’s resignation. The County Manager understands and acknowledges this mistake.

7. The County Manager seriously erred when he released information from Commissioner Pendergraph’s personnel file that included some information protected by North Carolina privacy laws, although he did so without malice.

8. The County Manager understands and acknowledges he made a mistake when he released the protected information from Commissioner Pendergraph’s personnel file. The County Manager has apologized to Commissioner Pendergraph and Commissioner Pendergraph has accepted his apology.

9. The additional amounts of accrued vacation paid to Commissioner Pendergraph at the time of his retirement were for benefits he earned during his service as Mecklenburg County Sheriff.

10. The County Manager must improve communication with the Board on personnel and matters of public interest.

11. The Board will work with the County Manager to establish clear expectations for how similar matters will be handled in the future.

The Board will put this statement in the County Manager’s personnel file and intends to take all of the above into consideration when conducting the County Manager’s annual performance evaluation later this calendar year.

Cedar's Take: Harry Jones has become synonymous with shady dealings, hubris intolerance, and a total disregard for the importance of the job he holds. The parallels to Charlotte's Aviation Director Jerry Orr are troubling as well. Unfortunately Charlotte's City Council is nearly as clueless as the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners.


Anonymous said...

Why am I not surprised?

Anonymous said...

Cedar the Survivor theme of your posts about the Meck BOCC cracks me up keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Not surprised at all but terribly dissapointed!

How can we have any respect for these people?
They continuously allow this malicous, petty crook to commit these seemingly sanctioned "crimes" and get bonuses and now a mere slap on his blinged out wrist.

By allowing this type of behavior ( Orr) by our PUBLIC officials to continue what kind of messages are we sending to the public and what kind of morally bankrupt people are we attracting to serve the public?

Anonymous said...

Cedar did you see where Harry Jones, Jr was charged with DWI again?

I'll bet he walks again as well.

Anonymous said...

Not Funny again you prove you are a racist. Do you really think comparing Harry Jones to 3 monkeys is funny?

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:22

Get over yourself....he wasn't comparing Jones but the WHOLE Board...get it?

It doesn't matter what freaking color Jones is, he is a vindictive, lying, childish scumbag that I wouldn't dare leave in charge of my pet fish, much less millions of dollars and people.

Anonymous said...

So, you can lie, mislead, deceive...and STILL keep your job?

Good to know!!!!

Anonymous said...

The fact that Harry is a Negro has everything to do with it. You think a white County Manager would get away with this? Even Bill James doesn't have the stones to try and take on this boy Harry.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:52:

Third time's a charm........

Anonymous said...

TO February 16, 2011 3:45 PM

Well look at it this way we will never know b/c Mecklenburg co is racist they will never hire a Caucasian - look who they have ...
I think they should fire them all -County Commisoners, County Manager, City manager, all their lawyers and everyone else associated w/them...hey do you think they can take Monroe with them??