The police chief and officers of Kenly, North Carolina announced their resignations this week, citing stress and a ‘hostile work environment’ after a new city manager was hired.
Police Chief Josh Gibson announced his two-week notice after more than 21 years of service, according to a Facebook post on his personal page. “The new manager has created an environment I do not feel we can perform our duties and services to the community,” he said.
Gibson was joined by the town’s four full-time officers and two other city officials, according to resignation letters obtained by WRAL. Town clerk Christy Thomas attributed her resignation to “current situations” and “stress” and described the “work area” as “hostile.” A lieutenant likewise named a “hostile work environment” as a reason for his resignation, stating he believes “progress is highly unlikely.” (RELATED: South Carolina Town’s Entire Police Force Resigns)
The shocking resignations came after Town Manager Justine Jones was hired last month, Gibson told News Channel 8. Both Gibson and Jones declined to provide more details to the media due to personnel and legal concerns, but WRAL noted that Jones had sued her previous employer for gender and racial discrimination after being terminated in 2015. Jones’ work history includes 16 years of “progressively responsible positions” for local governments across the country, per a press release on the city’s website.
“I’ve seen resignations from politicians and the mayors and the councilmembers. I have seen employees resign. I’ve never seen a resignation where it’s an entire department,” Kenly’s attorney Chip Hewett told CBS 17. Three part-time officers now remain in the Kenly police department, according to WRAL.