Ousted town manager reportedly in the running to lead Town of Navassa
NAVASSA, N.C. (WECT) - After only three months on the job, she was forced out of her role as Town Manager in Kenly, North Carolina. In August, Kenly Town Council voted to terminate Justine Jones after their entire police force and two town administrators resigned in protest of the difficult work environment they say she created there.
That’s why town employees in Navassa were concerned when they saw Jones in their Town Hall, reportedly applying for the open Town Manager position.
Those employees declined to comment on the record, but said they were nervous at the prospect she might soon be their boss. They told WECT they recognized Jones from the extensive media coverage she received after the falling out with employees in Kenly.
Jones defended herself at the time, telling reporters she had done nothing wrong. After announcing the decision to terminate Jones, Kenly Mayor “Tooie” Hales said the claims of a toxic work environment were not the main reason behind their decision, and that Jones simply wasn’t a good fit for their town.
WECT reached out to the town of Kenly to ask the police chief for details on what the specific concerns with Jones were, but learned the chief did not return to his job after Jones was terminated, and the police force there still has no officers. They are relying on Johnston County Sheriff’s Deputies to patrol their town of about 2,000 residents.
When reached by phone, Navassa Mayor Eulis Willis confirmed they are looking to fill the town manager position, but declined to elaborate when asked if Jones was a candidate. Willis added that he did not expect to make any hiring decisions at their meeting tonight. WECT has been unable to locate contact information for Jones to ask her directly for comment about reportedly applying for the open position in Navassa.
Copyright 2022 WECT. All rights reserved.