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Board returns ethics matter
Tardy on two points; must re-file third
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Forsyth County News


The Forsyth County Civil Service Board will have to resubmit its ethics complaint against a former planning commissioner.

The complaint maintains that Brant Meadows used his position on the planning board three separate times to intimidate and threaten the jobs of county employees in 2009 and 2010.

During a meeting Friday, the Forsyth County Board of Ethics discussed the complaint and Meadows' response.

"This is an investigatory review, it's not a hearing," said George Pirkle, board chairman. "So we will not hear any interaction from either the complainant or the respondent to this.

"This is basically us trying to get a handle on what the complaint was about and the response to it."

The five-member board agreed unanimously to notify the civil service officials that they need to resubmit the complaint with a couple of technical changes.

The complaint shows that it was made by the civil service board. According to county ordinance, however, such complaints must be brought by an actual person.

The complaint will also have to include an attached transcript of Chance's hearing.

The board will have seven days to resubmit its complaint, or it will be dismissed.

The ethics board also agreed that two of the incidents occurred outside of a six-month timeline required for filing an ethics complaint.

Those portions of the complaint, which involved former Planning Director Jeff Chance and former Elections Director Gary J. Smith, were dismissed.

The third portion, which dealt with an alleged encounter between Meadows and engineering department employee Simon Wilkes last summer, falls within the timeline.

The allegations made in the complaint surfaced last fall during a lengthy civil service board hearing, during which Chance challenged the county commission's August decision to fire him.

He contends that his dismissal was politically motivated, with Meadows threatening his job because of a decision he had made on a zoning matter.

Chance testified that he later changed his decision for fear of losing his post.

Chance has filed suit against the county, contending his rights as a whistleblower were violated and that Meadows threatened to "destroy him" if he didn't change his decision on the zoning issue.

The county argued that Chance was fired for failure to follow and enforce county policies.

Chance's appeal was denied and he has since taken the matter to Forsyth County Superior Court.