Thursday, December 22, 2016

Fired Employees Back on the Job

The six employees who were fired by sheriff-elect Larry Lane in early December will keep their jobs, Lane told the media last week.

The employees, an office worker, deputies and an investigator, hired Chip Sexton, a Fort Smith attorney, last week to look into their dismissals.

Sexton said the employees filed a grievance under the just cause policy of the sheriff’s department.

“The policy says that employees should only be terminated if there is just cause for termination and there was no cause for termination," Sexton said. "Once the current sheriff sustained the grievances, we asked the sheriff-elect to abide by that and the policy. He agreed and the matter is closed as far as I'm concerned. He did state that he is eliminating part-time employees for financial reasons, financial constraints but he was very cordial in his dealings with me and I appreciate the way the sheriff-elect handled the situation.”

Lane ran for the sheriff’s post on a drug-investigation platform, and defeated incumbent Sheriff Ron Lockhart on Nov. 8. He will take office in January.

Lane told the media he had dismissed the employees because he has a plan in place for a certain direction for the sheriff’s department.

One of the employees now back on the job said Monday, “It’s like Christmas came early. Our families all needed these jobs.”

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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