EMS director says her firing was a campaign promise

Published 1:50pm Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Halford’s firing was the first the Bulletin had been given specific reasons for a termination regarding a government employee with county attorney Jana Berg saying the information was given due to a state law regarding personnel records changing over two years ago.

Berg said as of Oct. 1, 2010 the public now has access to more information regarding employees than it did previously.

Because Halford was considered a career state employee, as well as a county employee, Berg said the following statute, General Statute 2010-169 Sections 18 (a) and 18 (e) regarding state and county employees applied.

“Certain records to be kept by State (18e – County) agencies open to inspection.

(a) Each department, agency, institution, commission and bureau of the State shall maintain a record of each of its employees, showing the following information with respect to each such employee:

(1) Name; (2) Age; (3) Date of original employment or appointment to State service; (4) The terms of any contract by which the employee is employed whether written or oral, past and current, to the extent that the agency has the written contract or a record of the oral contract in its possession; (5) Current position; (6) Title; (7) Current salary; (8) Date and amount of each increase or decrease in salary with that department, agency, institution, commission, or bureau; (9) Date and type of most recent each promotion, demotion, transfer, suspension, separation, or other change in position, classification with that department, agency, institution, commission, or bureau; (10) Date and general description of the reasons for each promotion with that department, agency, institution, commission, or bureau; (11) Date and type of each dismissal, suspension, or demotion for disciplinary reasons taken by the department, agency, institution, commission, or bureau. If the disciplinary action was a dismissal, a copy of the written notice of the final decision of the head of the department setting forth the specific acts or omissions that are the basis of the dismissal.”

Halford worked with Polk County for almost 23 years. She started as a paramedic in 1990, was hired as the county’s emergency management director in 1999 and as the EMS/emergency management director in 2004. She was placed on paid administrative leave on May 8.

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