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Civil service board awaits ruling
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Forsyth County News

The Forsyth County Civil Service Board could soon learn the fate of its decision upholding the county commission’s termination of an appointed official.

Former planning director Jeff Chance was fired in August by the county commission amid allegations he had failed to follow and comply with county policies.

Chance appealed his termination to the civil service board. After a lengthy hearing late last year, the three-member panel ruled in favor of the commission’s decision.

Dana Miles, who is an attorney and the board’s hearing officer, updated members on the situation during a meeting Thursday.

Miles said Forsyth County Superior Court Chief Judge Jeffrey S. Bagley heard arguments earlier this week on both sides of Chance’s petition.

Chance has asked the court to sustain his appeal or order the civil service board to reconsider its decision.

"I would anticipate in fairly short order we will hear a decision from the judge," Miles said.

Miles said he will alert the board as soon as that happens.

The board is expected to meet again in August.

Chance, who worked for the county for 15 years, contends his dismissal was politically motivated.

According to the petition, the civil service board erred in several ways, including that its ruling was contrary to the findings.

In its decision, the board noted that the majority of the 12 findings on which the county commission based Chance’s firing were false and not supported by evidence.

The findings came from an investigative summary of Chance’s work activities.

The petition also asserts that the board’s ruling was arbitrary and capricious because the former planning director’s dismissal "was based on the selective enforcement of vague and contradictory standards."

The petition shows that the board also found that the investigation and termination of Chance was in large part politically motivated and that the responsible county officials "may have acted improperly and unethically."

Chance filed suit against the county last summer on the basis that his rights as a whistleblower had been violated.