Forsyth County’s civil service board ruled Thursday that it doesn’t have the authority to hear an appeal for 11 laid-off sheriff’s deputies.
Clerk Charity Clark cited a letter from Pat Caron, the county’s personnel director, who denied the request for a hearing based on civil service policy.
“The policy is clear that a layoff … is exempt from a right of appeal,” the letter states.
The board’s counsel, Richard Neville, said the civil service handbook states that the personnel director has the “authority to determine what is a proper appeal and she has determined it is not.”
Board chairman Terry Smith agreed there was no action the panel could take on the matter.
“Ms. Carson is our gatekeeper,” Smith said. “If [the employees’ attorney] wants to do so, he can take it somewhere else.”
He added that the county had signed off on the agency’s layoff documents, which he recalled as being “very unusual.”
The supervisory positions were cut in late February as part of an agency restructuring that new Sheriff Duane Piper has said will increase efficiency and lower the budget.
The 11 claim their terminations were politically motivated, incorrectly processed and discriminatory based on age.
None of the employees or their attorney, Lance LoRusso, were present at the civil service board meeting.
The next stop for the case likely is court, though a petition has not been filed.