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John Ledford, from up in the mountains, was a leader in local Democratic politics for years, then ran for sheriff of Madison County and won. Then, after a few years as sheriff, he got Democratic Governor Beverly Perdue to appoint him head of the Division of Alcohol and Law Enforcement, a job where he earned $110,000 a year.
Then Republican Pat McCrory was elected Governor and, since Ledford was a political appointee, it was clear to just about everyone else his days as head of A.L.E. were numbered.
So John Ledford pulled a hat trick – and he demoted himself into a job as a career state employee. Where he couldn’t be fired.
Of course, it wasn’t quite as simple as it sounds.
First, the job Ledford wanted to demote himself into was in Wilmington - while he lived on the other side of the state in Asheville. And the job only paid $39,000.
But Ledford found a simple solution: Before he resigned as head of A.L.E. he recommended to the higher-ups in the Perdue Administration (who were also political appointees) that they move the job from Wilmington to Asheville and raise the salary to $65,800 – which his fellow Democrats happily did.
Of course, none of that set too well with the Republicans after they took office.
They more or less decided the whole thing was a scam. And fired Ledford. Who then sued and said with a straight face he was a career state employee who couldn’t be fired.
Then Ledford hired a lawyer, headed to court, and, in an odd twist of fate, landed in front of a judge who, by sheer coincidence, had been former Democratic Governor Bob Scott’s legal advisor.
The judge declared Ledford had been “a marked man, politically” after the election of a Republican Governor, added he’d been fired because he was a Democrat, and ordered the state to reinstate him, pay him $44,000 in back pay, and pay his lawyer another $50,000.
And that’s Democracy in Action: A Democratic nabob waves a magic wand and declares himself a career employee; the Republicans say that’s not magic it’s voodoo; and a judge (who worked for a Democratic Governor forty years ago) rules taxpayers have to fork over $94,000 so justice can be done.
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# dap916
Monday, January 13, 2014 4:11 PM
Yeah...politicians. Whatcha gonna do with 'em?

I wonder what Gary feels about this. There's gotta be some "talking points" spin now contrived by democrats to sanction what our guy Ledford did.

This whole incident is just small potatoes compared to all of the graft and corruption and waste and abuse going on in our fair state because of shady political dealings. It's on both sides. I think we all know that.
# Choo
Monday, January 13, 2014 10:41 PM
Wow, I am glad he didn't cause a traffic jam, he could have been in real trouble, I'am talking jail time.

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