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Ex-deputy will not get her position back
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Forsyth County News
The Forsyth County Civil Service Board has upheld the firing of a former sheriff's deputy.

In a letter signed last week by Avery Howell, chairman of the three-member board, Kristin Adkins was told the panel found the sheriff's office had correctly followed policy.

Adkins employment had been terminated May 19 for neglect of duty, her fourth such violation in 36 months. She admitted missing work May 3 and arriving late on May 4 due to complications on a return trip from Florida.

Under sheriff's office policy, demotion or dismissal are appropriate actions after a fourth violation in three years.

Adkins' case was based largely on whether the county had followed policy in terminating her employment.

The sheriff's office did not explicitly provide advance notice of her termination conference. However, that isn't required in cases "deemed necessary to protect the county or the employee concerned."

According to the letter, the civil service board found Adkins had "reacted emotionally to stressful situations in the past" and therefore the office did not need to provide advance notice.

Adkins' attorney, Robert Reid, had asked that his client be reinstated and her punishment be reduced to a 40-hour suspension. He said she is considering her options in moving forward.

The board, Reid said, made its ruling on a "narrow exception" to the policy based on a "very vague sentence." He added that there was no reason she didn't deserve even a couple hours notice about the meeting so she could prepare.

"The narrow exception [the board is] finding ... is going to give a hole for the sheriff's [office] to deny the dismissal hearing protections to employees," Reid said.

The board also ruled that the discipline was appropriate, seeing no evidence of discrimination based on Adkins' "medical condition or any other type of disability."

"The factual background behind this neglect of duty violation was largely undisputed," Howell wrote.

The board heard the case July 29 and 30.

Sheriff Ted Paxton said his office was confident the ruling would be upheld, though he was happy to have another group review the matter.