The Franklin News-Post|
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
By KEN BRADLEY - Staff Writer
Longtime Boones Mill Police Chief Lynn Frith, who later became town manager and utility supervisor, was fired last Thursday, Aug. 1 by town council.
Frith told The Franklin News-Post late Monday that council voted to fire him in a special meeting that was held behind closed doors.
Efforts by the News-Post Tuesday to contact Boones Mill Mayor Ben Flora for comment on Frith's firing were unsuccessful. However, Jean Campbell, town clerk and treasurer, confirmed Tuesday that council had terminated Frith's employment with the town.
No notice to the news media was given of the special meeting that went into closed session to discuss Frith's firing. The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requires public notification of such meetings.
Frith said that council gave no specific reason or reasons for his firing. Correspondence to him from the town's attorney cited poor performance as police chief, town manager and utilities supervisor, but gave no specifics, he said.
Town council first asked for his resignation.
"After I refused to resign, telling them I had done nothing wrong, that's when they told me I was fired," he said.
Frith said Tuesday that he will consult with an attorney to determine what course of action he will take, if any.
Frith believes the reason for his firing was because he notified council during a budget meeting that Flora had two cell phones, one he used and the other for his mother to use. The phone bill for the two cell phones was being paid by the town, he said.
Town council had never approved authorizing the cell phones for Flora and his mother, Frith said.
However, council recently authorized the cell phones for the mayor and his mother, he added.
A few months ago, Flora said that he didn't know if council had ever approved the cell phones for himself and his mother at the town's expense, "but they knew about it."
Frith recently spent about $1,000 of his own money to buy materials to replace a leaking water line that had resulted in some town residents being without water, he said.
"I did that because council had taken my authority away to make purchases," Frith said. "I was told that I would be reimbursed. So we'll see."
Frith was first hired as the town's policeman in September 1989. He also became town manager and utilities supervisor in early 2006.
Meanwhile, Frith said there are some waterline leaks that need to be repaired.
"There's one on Easy Street now," Frith said.