Local News

Smithfield fires town manager

Posted May 26, 2011
Updated May 27, 2011

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— The Smithfield town council voted Thursday night to fire town manager Eric Williams, officials said. 

Williams was placed on administrative leave earlier this month amid allegations he handed out unauthorized raises.

With a tight budget, the council decided last spring to eliminate raises for town employees, but personnel records show four department heads got significant raises with no change in title or responsibility.

The council did not approve the raises.

The North Carolina League of Municipalities is conducting an independent probe of the pay raise controversy.


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  • beckerunc May 31, 2011

    Finance Director Justin Merritt got big raise too....he needs to be gone.

  • morthanwords May 31, 2011

    The Town Clerk, Debbie Godwin who took the largest raise should have been the first one out the door. She knew that her taking that kind of a raise was inapproriate when there was a "freeze" on raises. The Payroll Clerk should be the next one out since she obviously enters in pay info without proper approval...oh but wait, she got a nice little raise too. {hush,hush} It is ridiculous to me that they are still there and still receiving the raises until July 1st. WHAT??!! Nice to see that my tax dollars are cushioning the pockets of crooks. I hope they have to spend it all in legal fees and PLUS are fired!!

  • Rebelyell55 May 27, 2011

    Glad to hear this. Bout time someone stood up and yes NO means NO.

  • bwood60 May 27, 2011

    The Town Council did the job that is expected/required of them. All involved needs firing & ALL monies need re-paying to the town. After all that IS the TAXPAYERS money. This does not need to be swept under the rug & a slap on the hand given. It's time for someone to run the town that has NO problems in running it like it should be run, a BUSINESS!

  • Scubagirl May 27, 2011

    I feel the right decision was made, and also think that since the raises were not authorized they should be taken back! THAT would be much more fair.

  • thinkin out loud May 27, 2011

    Superman, with a Manager/Council form of government the Town Manager has near complete authority. The elected council members serve to "council" the manager on how to handle business but the day to day business is entirely up to the manager. The manager still works at the will of the people (or the council members that represent them).

    Many town policies allow the manager to give pay raises at will with justification. The problem here is the Council had already said NO PAY RAISES and he gave them anyway.

    The town has the option to reverse the pay increase and could possibly have the employees repay the unauthorized money already received.

  • ncguy May 27, 2011

    Giving raises? you mean hush money?

  • Wags May 27, 2011

    I'm not giving my raise back!!

  • superman May 27, 2011

    What about the payroll clerk who wrote the checks without proper signed authorization? And then what about the people who accepted the raises and they knew they were not authorized? There were others involved in this conspiracy. There are others that need to be fired.

  • fzero May 27, 2011

    Now when do the raises get rolled back?