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Fired No. 2 DMV leader sues former boss

Posted November 4, 2008

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— A former employee of the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles filed a lawsuit Tuesday against his former boss and the state agency, saying he was fired out of retaliation.

Wayne Hurder, a 15-year employee who served as the division's deputy commissioner, said he was officially notified Tuesday of his termination because he allegedly interfered with the hiring process.

But Hurder and his attorney, Jack Nichols, say he was fired because he filed a formal complaint with Department of Transportation Secretary Lyndo Tippett in early September against his manager, DMV Commissioner Bill Gore.

"He told the secretary that there were a number of instances of improper hiring, basically getting jobs for friends – in some cases, Commissioner Gore seeking to get positions for family members," Nichols said.

The lawsuit claims Gore has abused his authority and that Hurder's termination was also a result of his refusal to give a contribution to Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue's gubernatorial campaign.

"I consider it completely unjust," Hurder said.

"He doesn't even make the final decision," Nichols said. "How can he interfere with or do improper hiring when he's not the final decision-maker? It doesn't make sense."

Hurder and Nichols say the termination describes a pattern within the DMV and that it is not the first time Gore has retaliated against a DMV employee.

In a separate case late last week, an administrative law judge ruled that fired DMV employee Ken Cassidy should get his job back. Cassidy, an assistant district supervisor at a Raleigh DMV office, was the source for several negative newspaper articles printed about the DMV.

"I think it helps describe a pattern there," Hurder said.

"His letter to the secretary absolutely meets the definition of whistle-blowing," Nichols said.

A spokeswoman for the division said Gore, whom Gov. Mike Easley appointed to the position in August 2007, would not comment on personnel matters.

Nichols said he plans to seek a preliminary injunction against the firing to get his client back to work as soon as possible.

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  • Kristen168 Nov 5, 2008

    I think I asked once if Wayne Hurder didn't once work for the News & Observer, or was he in the insurance commissioner's office at one time? That post didn't seem to make it online. I'm interested in his background & would like someone to dig into it. Is that possible?

  • beachboater Nov 5, 2008

    An Easley appointee guilty of playing favorites? No way. How did he get his appointment from Easley anyway?

    Bev will do a "fantastic job" of fixing it. And I have a bridge in Arizona I'd like to sell you.

  • WHEEL Nov 5, 2008

    Yeah, it's gonna be a lot better under Bev ha ha ha.

  • Seeminglyopposed Nov 5, 2008

    Okay, my wording did not come out correctly,long night. Let me try this first statement again.

    "One thing that you can say is that both DMV and DOT top officials will never learn. They will continue to do what they are doing unless they can be stopped of all the unjustice that they do to whomever they pick out to destroy."

    It is just sad that only top officials seem to get their stories told, and the remainder of state employees that have grievances tied up with these agencies go unheard. We need a voice just like the $100,000 up salaries do. WRAL do a study on how many active grievances are out there in these two agencies only.

  • Seeminglyopposed Nov 5, 2008

    One thing that you can say about the top officials of DMV and DOT they will do what they want to do. They have done continued to abuse their power until it is terrible that they have not been stopped. It is more unfortunate that only the people in manangement positions enter the paper,when there are other state employees with these agencies that are not managers, etc that are still awaiting their day to be heard years from their grievances. And this case will probably be resolved in a couple of days. Whistleblowing, political or not all of them should be treated the same. In a way, the media helps these people get their stories out. How about the rest of us out here!

  • Sweetgrl3 Nov 5, 2008

    This information should have come out before the election.

  • tsquaring Nov 4, 2008

    So is there going to be an in depth investigation by someone in the media maybe?

  • stupiditydeservesnosympathy Nov 4, 2008

    I hope he nails them to the wall.... I have seen nepotism even where i work and it makes me sick...