Sunset Beach Town Administrator fired for cause just months after being hired

Jack Hobbs spent less than four months as Town Administrator
Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 1:18 PM EST
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SUNSET BEACH, N.C. (WECT) - The newly hired Town Administrator for Sunset Beach is off the job, less than four months after he was hired to run the town.

Mayor Shannon Phillips would not say what exactly prompted Jack Hobbs’ termination, but did say it was for cause so Hobbs was not eligible for severance pay.

“Personally I thought he was a great guy, but in corporate business, you have rules. And if those rules are broken, it isn’t something you can come back from. You have ethics, you have rules, and when certain rules are broken, it just sticks,” Phillips told WECT. “You’ve got to do what’s best for the business at all times. I treat this town like running a business.”

WECT obtained a copy of Hobbs’ termination letter.

“During the November 1, 2021 Meeting, the Town Council heard complaints related to your actions, omissions and conduct taken while serving as Town Administrator and conducted an interview and investigation with you at that time. Last evening, 9 November 2021, the Council...unanimously resolved to terminate your position with the Town, for cause, effective today — 10 November 2021,” the letter reads.

The termination letter proceeded to list the reasons for Hobbs’ termination, including “willful neglect of duties to the Town,” “violation of duties to the Town of honesty and loyalty,” “disrespectful or unprofessional actions that would reflect adversely on the Town, its citizens or employees,” and “failure in performance of duties.” The letter adds that Hobbs “failed in... your personal conduct,” “demonstrated inefficiency, negligence and/or incompetence in the performance of your duties,” “engaged in the discourteous treatment of other town employees,” and “mishandled and/or improperly possessed Town property.”

“I’m 100% confident that this was the appropriate course of action,” Mayor Phillips said of the decision to part ways with Hobbs. “You can’t go on speculation, you have to have facts. The facts were there. The proof was there. This is not tolerated, there is no coming back from this. From any job that you got, you would be fired.”

Hobbs’ salary with Sunset Beach was roughly $120,000. He started the job in July after beating out a number of other candidates. Hobbs previously served as County Administrator for Madison County, Virginia.

WECT was unable to reach Hobbs for comment, but he declined to comment when reached by the local newspaper. Mayor Phillips expects the search to start in earnest for a new Town Administrator after the first of the year.

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