SUNSET BEACH, NC (WECT) - Former Sunset Beach Mayor Robert Forrester claimed he always knew the council was "contentious" but he said the council's decision to fire Town Administrator Susan Parker was the final straw.
"There are times you have to take a stand for what you believe is right," Forrester said, explaining his reason for stepping down Monday night after Parker's firing. "I was not reaching anyone on the council."
Forrester claims the three council members who voted to fire Parker were not happy with the amount of power she was given. The former mayor said Parker put the wheels in motion to put security cameras in the halls and request an officer at each council meeting after a heated exchange between Councilman Rich Cerrato and a citizen during public comments.
"Had she not taken [action] we would have been subject to litigation or complaints for not maintaining a safe workplace," Forrester said.
Council members who voted to fire Parker claim they want a "change in direction."
When one councilman was asked if Parker had too much power, he refuted the claim.
"I don't know why you are spinning it in [Forrester's] way," Councilman Mark Benton told WECT. "It's simple. We are going in a different direction. It has nothing to do with Susan Parker."
When asked how it could not have anything to do with Parker, given that she was the employee who was fired, Benton declined to elaborate.
"I'm only going to tell you one thing: we are going in a different direction," Benton said. "The town employees are great. We are having a good time."
Calls to Cerrato and Councilwoman Jan Harris, the two members who also voted to fire Parker, were not returned.