NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - New Hanover County's Animal Control Services Manager Jean McNeil is on administrative leave after a dispute with county officials over pay from Hurricane Irene. WECT.com has learned that leave has been extended until Wednesday, January 11.
McNeil said she has been on leave since December 22, 2011.
She says the issue started during Hurricane Irene, when workers put in hours to keep the shelter open in late August. McNeil says three people who were scheduled to work that Saturday were paid for regular pay. However, McNeil says since New Hanover County was in a state of emergency, they should have been given emergency pay.
McNeil says she went to New Hanover County Health Department Director David Rice with the issue, but didn't get satisfaction. She says she couldn't go to the Board of Health, because they have no jurisdiction over him. McNeil, who has been in charge of animal control for the last 21 years, says she has filed a complaint against Rice.
The Board of Health entered a closed session to discuss a personnel matter at its Wednesday meeting. Jean McNeil attended the meeting, along with the board's executive committee meeting. She was not called on to speak at either meeting.
When it returned to open session, the board announced it took no action while in closed session.
Rice would not comment to WECT.com about the issue, except to say, "It's a personnel matter and (I'm) not at liberty to comment on it as this time." In a memo delivered to McNeil, Rice says he expects to meet with McNeil and Deputy Health Director Joshua Swift on Thursday to "address the unresolved issues and discuss plans on how to proceed with business at ACS."
Other county officials chose not to comment due to the fact that it is a personnel issue.
McNeil told WECT.com that she believes she is going to be terminated and that "it looks like that's the track that its on."
Keep checking back for continuing updates in this developing story.
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