Welch says he can’t comment on personnel issues; no termination letter provided

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 7, 2014

A 22-year veteran in the Rowan County Register of Deeds office was fired the day she filed to run against Harry Welch, the county’s incumbent register of deeds.
Sandra Campbell, 50, served as assistant register of deeds and announced her candidacy on Feb. 28.
That afternoon, she found out she would not have a job anymore.
“(Welch) said he needed to see me in his office. He said the commissioners told him that if I was going to run for the register of deeds position, he had to let me go,” Campbell said. “I was fired for filing. It is my understanding that anybody can file as long as you are a citizen of Rowan County.”
Neither Rowan County Manager Gary Page nor Rowan County Human Resources Director Darlene Boling were present for the meeting, Campbell said.
Page told the Post he was unaware of the exchange between Welch and Campbell as he was out of town due to a death in the family.
As of Thursday evening, Page said he was not able to contact Welch regarding the issue.
“As the county manager, I was not privy to the fact that she was interested in running or what position she would run for,” Page said. “From what I know so far, (Campbell) told (Welch) her intentions Thursday. When she came to work on Friday, he told her she needed to leave.”
Page said he has yet to see a termination letter from Campbell’s firing.
“I don’t have a reason or anything in writing. I don’t like the punishment I had to endure,” Campbell said. “I trained folks to do that job for years. All I was doing was advancing my career.”
Welch, a Republican seeking his second term, declined comment on Campbell’s termination as the matter relates to personnel.
The Post has filed a public records request with the county for Campbell’s termination letter.
“As of (Thursday), I have not received a termination letter. I’ve been contacted by a lot of people who just cannot believe this,” Campbell said. “I have not been able to speak with the commissioners yet, but I plan on doing so real soon.”
A Rowan County native, Campbell is running as a Democrat for the register of deeds seat.
Campbell graduated from North Rowan High School and then Salisbury Business College before starting her career as deputy register of deeds in 1991.
In 2008, Campbell was promoted to assistant register of deeds.
Campbell also received basic and advanced certifications for the N.C. Association of Registers of Deeds from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s School of Government.
“I come to the citizens of Rowan County with 22 years of experience, asking for the opportunity to serve as register of deeds,” Campbell said. “My goal is to move the register of deeds office forward through technology while ensuring the safekeeping of public records in accordance with the laws that govern North Carolina.”
Campbell is a member of Shady Grove Baptist Church in East Spencer where she serves as deaconess, youth advisor and senior usher.
Also a member of the NAACP, Campbell served on the parent-teacher association boards for Knox Middle School as the secretary and Salisbury High School’s board as volunteer coordinator.
Campbell has two sons, Douglas and Darrius, who both graduated from Salisbury High School.