• 70°

Former Landis manager files lawsuit against town

LANDIS — Roger Hosey, who was fired as town manager by aldermen on Jan. 6, is seeking monetary damages for a breached contract in a lawsuit filed in Rowan County Superior Court, said his attorney Ellis Hankins.

The suit comes after town board members in January “breached the employment agreement by refusing to make the required payments after termination,” Hankins said in a statement provided Wednesday to the Post.

“We made repeated efforts to settle this dispute without litigation, including an offer of mediation. But the board majority refused to discuss a reasonable settlement in good faith, so they’ve left Mr. Hosey with no choice but to seek enforcement of his rights in court,” he said.

The suit also seeks damages, accusing Mayor Meredith Smith of slander, for statements that Hosey was terminated due to “just cause.”

Hosey was fired just five months after being named manager and one month after a new majority on the Landis Board of Aldermen — Mayor Meredith Smith as well as board members Katie Sells and Ashley Stewart — were sworn in. The three cast deciding votes in the 3-2 decision to fire Hosey and cited “just cause” as reason to fire him.

When Smith said, “We will terminate Mr. Hosey due to just cause,” it was defamatory and stigmatizing, Hankins said.

Hosey’s contract, which was updated by outgoing board members after the election in which Smith, Sells and Stewart won seats, stipulated that “just cause” meant a felony conviction or any crime of moral turpitude.

A termination not for “just cause,” according to his contract, entitles him to two months salary and benefits for each year or fraction of service to the town. Hosey has previously said he’s never been charged or convicted of a felony and town board members have not clarified what crime is relevant.

Hankins echoed Hosey’s prior statements on Wednesday.

“Mayor Smith was well aware of that provision in the employment agreement and knew that Mr. Hosey did nothing wrong and has never been accused of or convicted of any crime,” Hankins said. “Hosey has worked as a sworn law enforcement officer for most of his career and has a sterling reputation. So her public statement on behalf of the board majority was false and damaged his good reputation.”

The complaint names the town of Landis as a defendant, Smith, Stewart and Sells in their official and individual capacities. The complaint also names the other two aldermen who voted against terminating Hosey’s employment as defendants in their official capacities only and says neither are responsible for any of the acts asserted in the complaint.

Hankins is an attorney for the Brough Law Firm in Chapel Hill.



Gov. Cooper lifts indoor mask mandate for most situations, gathering limits


Barnes gets new punishment of two life sentences in 1992 murder of Tutterow couple

High School

High school football: State’s top honor goes to Jalon Walker


Scout’s Honor: With dedication of flag retirement box, Salem Fleming earns Eagle Scout rank


North Carolina king, queen of NCAA lacrosse tourneys


Kannapolis seniors walk elementary schools


Local real estate company employees come out in force to build Habitat house


Quotes of the week


Auditors find oversight lacking for $3 billion of state’s pandemic aid


When will gas situation return to normal?


Rowan native Shuping posthumously receives Concord Police Department’s Medal of Valor, Purple Heart


Black high school softball player told to cut hair


GOP measure on penalties for rioting draws fire


State shows 303 COVID-19 deaths in Rowan


CDC: Fully vaccinated people can largely ditch masks indoors


One arrested, another hospitalized in Castor Road stabbing

China Grove

China Grove Roller Mill open for tours Saturday


Facing personnel deficiencies, local fire departments request tax rate increases


‘Panic buying’ creates gas supply shortages locally, statewide after pipeline cyberattack


Twice as nice: Planet Smoothie opens alongside Cold Stone Creamery in co-branded store


Spencer board gets update on South Iredell rat problem


West Rowan teacher awarded $15,000 outdoor learning grant


Town of Cleveland plans celebration May 22

High School

High school girls tennis: Busy Hornets win again easily