Kenly names interim town manager months after terminating Justine Jones

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Tuesday, October 18, 2022
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Tony Sears is now the interim town manager in Kenly, taking over the position after a tumultuous few months that ended with the termination of the previous town manager, Justine Jones.

KENLY, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Town of Kenly has an interim town manager.

Tony Sears is now in that position, assuming the duties in September.

In August, the town council voted to terminate the contract of Justine Jones as town manager.

Jones was the focus of an independent investigation after the town's entire police force, including the chief of police, resigned, saying there was a "hostile work environment."

Jones said allegations made against here were untrue.

Kenly Mayor Tooie Hales said in August that the investigation's findings didn't "justify a toxic environment" but said the decision to terminate Jones' contract was based on "a lot of other factors," and the town looked for the "best way to move forward."

Jones had recently been extended an offer to serve as Spring Lake's town manager, but that appears in limbo as the state board that controls finances for Spring Lake said it would not approve funds to hire her for that post.