Local News

Fired No. 2 DMV leader settles lawsuit with former boss

Posted May 18, 2009 11:07 p.m. EDT
Updated May 18, 2009 11:19 p.m. EDT

— A former top North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles official says he feels vindicated after settling a lawsuit with the state.

Wayne Hurder, a 15-year employee who served as the division's deputy commissioner, was fired because he allegedly interfered with the hiring process.

"I knew immediately that I was going to fight it,” Hurder said.

Hurder said he believes he was let go because he filed a formal complaint with Department of Transportation in September against his manager, DMV Commissioner Bill Gore. The complaint accused Gore of seeking to get jobs for family members.

In November, Hurder was fired from the department. A letter from the DMV accused him of overlooking high ranking candidates for those with less experience and qualifications.

"How can you interfere with the decision making when you are not the final decision maker," said Jackson Nichols, Hurder's attorney.

Hurder also said he thinks his termination was a result of his refusal to give a contribution to Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue's gubernatorial campaign.

Hurder filed a lawsuit against his former boss and the DOT, which oversees the DMV. The state settled the case last week and agreed to pay Hurder $50,000.

"I did not do the things that I was accused of, and I ran a good clean operation in North Carolina," Hurder said.

A DMV spokesperson said they decided to settle the case so that they could focus on moving forward with new leadership.