Monroe City Manager Edward “Larry” Faison was fired in a 4-3 City Council vote Friday, making him the fifth such official to leave the position since 2000.
Assistant City Manager Brian Borne was sworn in as interim city manager at 5 p.m. last Friday, the city of Monroe said in an email.
The City Council gave no reason for Faison’s termination, according to an email from the city on Monday.
“The manager serves at the pleasure of Council,” the email said.
Faison will receive severance pay equal to one year his annual salary of $171,412.80 plus benefits, city spokesman Peter Hovanec said.
The Observer could not immediately reach Faison on Monday.
Faison was hired in October 2014 after the previous city manager, John D’Agostino, was terminated in another 4-3 vote after less than four months on the job, the Observer previously reported. D’Agostino’s predecessor, Wayne Herron, abruptly quit in July 2012 after a heated council debate over his decision not to give then-police Chief Debra Duncan a performance bonus, the Observer also previously reported.
Herron’s resignation, which was part of a pattern of city managers quitting the same position, prompted the city to launch an investigation into Monroe’s city management.
The investigation detailed a dysfunctional city hall where workers were afraid they were being secretly recorded and claimed council members indulged in nepotism and often intervened in city affairs, the Observer previously reported.
“If I were a city manager, I wouldn’t touch Monroe with a 10-foot pole,” council member Lynn Keziah, one of D’Agostino’s supporters, told the Observer after the official was fired.
During Friday’s special City Council meeting Keziah made the motion to terminate Faison’s contract. Council member Franco McGee seconded it, and they werejoined by Surluta Anthony and Angelia James.
Mayor Bobby Kilgore, Mayor Pro Tem Marion Holloway and council member Freddie Gordon voted against the motion. Deliberations on the vote took place in a closed session.
Kilgore and Gordon both confirmed their votes against Faison’s termination, but they were reluctant to discuss other council members.
“When you want to micromanage or do (the city manager’s) job for him, you know that there’s going to be a problem,” Gordon said.
None of the council members who voted for Faison’s termination responded to an Observer request for comment. Holloway, who voted against the termination, also did not respond.
Faison previously served as a city manager for Kilmarnock, Va., and the North Carolina towns of Whiteville, Spring Lake and Swansboro.