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Carrboro Fire Chief Still Drawing Salary While Jailed

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CARRBORO, N.C. — Rodney Murray may wear prison orange, but he still makes about $300 a day. In the last month, Murray has been arrested four times. He's charged with DWI as well as stalking.

Last week, Murray pleaded guilty to two counts of violating a domestic violence order. He was then arrested again for the same offense on Thursday.

The Carrboro fire chief, who's on medical leave after a recent heart attack, continues to draw on his $77,000 annual salary despite his legal problems.

Some Carrboro residents question how their tax dollars are being spent.

"It's a bit bothersome," said resident Michael Rulon. "It's been going on so long and nothing's being done about it."

"Some of the folks have expressed outrage and some sympathy," said Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton.

Chilton said the town plans to pay Murray until his March 1 retirement and has no plans to fire the chief.

"We have a set of personnel policies, and we're trying to be careful to follow them exactly," he said.

Civil attorneys say the town of Carrboro may actually be saving money by keeping Murray on the payroll. The cost of possible litigation by Murray could end up being higher than simply paying out the chief's monthly salary.

Murray hasn't been convicted, and his supporters say he's given 37 years to public service and deserves to keep his salary. So for now, the chief may be one of the highest-paid prisoners in the Durham County Jail.


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