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Hearing set for ex-planning director
Chance appeals his termination
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Forsyth County News


The Forsyth County Civil Service Board will hear the appeal of a former county official next month.

The board has scheduled a hearing for Jeff Chance at 9:30 a.m. Nov. 8 at the county’s public safety complex.

Chance was fired Aug. 19 for 12 violations of county policies, including favoritism to certain employees, inappropriate e-mail activity and putting golf balls in the office hallways.

The violations surfaced as part of an investigation into his management practices and computer use. He had been suspended with pay since May.

Chance filed suit in July against the county, asserting that his rights as a whistleblower had been violated when the county launched the investigation.

The suit contends the investigation was in retaliation for Chance reporting that Planning Commissioner Brant Meadows had threatened his job when the two disagreed on an administrative decision.

Chance contends in the lawsuit that Meadows told him he would “destroy him” if he failed to reverse a decision to allow a permit issued in 2000 to United Recycling to apply to a 2009 request for an open storage yard and recycling center off Friendship Road.

The suit states that Commission Chairman Charles Laughinghouse told Chance to reverse his decision and Meadows would “back off from his threats and the whole matter would go away.”

In its response to the complaint, the county denies the allegations.

It also states that Chance and County Attorney Ken Jarrard discussed all options for approaching a meeting between Chance,
Laughinghouse and Meadows, and decided that Chance should go into the meeting with an open mind and make the decision he could support professionally and personally.

Chance’s suit asserts that Jarrard suggested he reverse his decision before the meeting.

The county’s response states the county would’ve taken the same action against Chance in the “absence of (Chance’s) alleged disclosure.”

The county also contends that Chance doesn’t qualify as a whistleblower and that the local government didn’t take retaliatory action with respect to the Georgia Whistleblower Act.