Wilson County EMA director plans to step down - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Wilson County EMA director plans to step down

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Wilson County EMA Director John Jewell Wilson County EMA Director John Jewell

There are a lot of questions after the sudden resignation of a Middle Tennessee emergency management director.

Wilson County EMA Director John Jewell has been with the agency since 2008, but he told his employees Friday he is stepping down.

Jewell said he was facing a disciplinary hearing over a recent car accident while driving in a county car, and he said he didn't want that to be a distraction from the work the agency is trying to accomplish.

On top of that, Jewell said he's had enough with differences about the way things should be done among county leaders.

"It's always tough when you have someone resign, especially the director of an organization. He's made a lot of progress for that organization," said Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto.

In a June 26 crash, Jewell was suspected of rear-ending another driver in his county car near Watertown.

It was the agency director's third wreck since 2009. In 2011, he was suspended without pay for 10 days for another in which he backed into a car, but the mayor said that kind of disciplinary action is standard operating procedure for all county employees involved in a wreck. He said the director didn't want to be treated any differently than any other employee.

"We have to continue to provide public safety for the citizens of Wilson County, so we can't miss a beat. We must continue to move forward," Hutto said.

There's still no word yet on who will replace the director, but he said he plans to stay on for about 30 more days.

In the letter to his employees Friday, Jewell said his biggest disappointment was not being able to get them a good solid raise.

That's something he's fought for, but the county mayor said in this economy that's hard to do.

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