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Settlement with former deputy appears near
Adams has fought dismissal for years
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Forsyth County News


Forsyth County has extended a settlement offer to a veteran law enforcement officer who for two years has fought his dismissal from the sheriff's office.

Charles Adams will have three weeks to consider signing the agreement, which county commissioners approved 5-0 without comment during their meeting Thursday.

The settlement, which does not involve money, would end all legal disputes between the two sides.

The deal calls for the county to share only neutral details about Adams' employment to potential future employers.

Adams, a 39-year veteran of law enforcement who ran unsuccessfully in 2008 for the county's clerk of court post, was dismissed from the sheriff’s office in April 2009.

The decision centered on charges that he had been untruthful, misled supervisors and neglected his duties.

Since that time, Adams and the county have been entangled in legal disputes, none of which have been resolved.

If approved, the agreement would end all litigation on the matter.

No information from Adams' personnel file would be purged, said Paul Frickey, attorney with the county’s law firm, Jarrard & Davis.

The file would, however, include a neutral job recommendation letter and include a letter of resignation from the agency on April 29, 2009.

Based on previous discussions, it’s expected that Adams will agree to the terms, Frickey said.

“The parties appear to be on their way to agreement and it does appear that we did come up with something that was satisfactory to both sides,” Frickey said.

Following his firing, Adams appealed to the county's civil service board.

The three-member panel sided with the sheriff's office on the violation of a truthfulness policy, but did not agree with the other charges against Adams, who was 58 at the time.

In the end, though, the board upheld his termination.

Adams appealed the decision to Forsyth County Superior Court in August 2009.

An April 15 hearing in the case was postponed since it appeared both parties were heading for a settlement, Frickey said.

Adams also filed a charge of age discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in July 2009, which ultimately landed in court as well.

In May 2010, the sheriff’s office appealed the Department of Labor Board of Review’s decision.

Under the agreement, he could not seek re-employment at Forsyth County, though he could run for elected county office.