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City employee fired after funds ‘misappropriated’

A Salisbury city employee has been fired and the city is asking the State Bureau of Investigations to conduct an independent review after city funds were “misappropriated.”

When asked about the situation Monday, city officials refused to release the name of the terminated employee and when the person was fired, even though state public records laws require the city to release the information.

Mayor Paul Woodson and Assistant City Manager Zack Kyle spoke to the Post about the situation Monday evening after city council met to review applicants for the city manager position.

The officials gave few details about the situation and said it’s unclear how much money was taken. They would not give a ballpark figure.

“I’d love to be able to tell you, but we don’t know” how much money was taken, Kyle said.

“We don’t know all that stuff right now,” Woodson said. “We’re turning this over to the SBI. We want a third party to come in.”

A press release from the city reads: “Assistant City Manager Zack Kyle announced a recent internal review conducted by the Salisbury Customer Service Division revealed a misappropriation of funds. As a result of the review, an employee has been immediately terminated. Furthermore, the City has requested an independent review by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. No additional information will be available until the review is complete.”

A supervisor in the customer service department did a review and found a problem, Woodson said.

When pressed for more details about what happened, Kyle said, “It’s being investigated so we can’t really answer things related to an investigation.”

City officials would not say when the review that discovered the problem was conducted. The person who was fired did work in the customer service department, they said.

The Post has made a public-records request seeking information about the employee who was fired by the city.

Kyle said he could not immediately give the person’s name because the city has a “protocol” to follow regarding public-records requests.

“We want a full investigation” to find out what’s going on, Woodson said.

Interim City Manager John Sofley is at a conference in Kansas City, Missouri, and the Post was unable to reach him Monday.

Contact Reporter David Purtell at 704-797-4264.

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