During major fighting in World War II in the Pacific during the critical invasion of Leyte Gulf, Admiral Chester Nimitz in Hawaii was trying to get a fix on the whereabouts of Admiral William F. “Bull” Halsey and his Aircraft Carrier Enterprise Task Force. A major Japanese counterattack was taking place that threatened General Douglas MacArthur’s invasion force and Halsey and his aircraft carriers and battleships were nowhere to be found. In fact Halsey was off chasing a Japanese decoy that had Halsey way out of range of the real battle. After many emergency messages, Nimitz finally sent a message that got Halsey’s attention. Please state your position, “the world wonders.”
Halsey immediately breaks off his wild goose chase and heads back to Leyte Gulf at full speed. But too late to be of use The only thing that saved MacArthur and many thousands of American troops was the dogged defense by the few Navy ships that were supporting the invasion and a mistake made by the Japanese Admiral who did not realize just how bad the Americans situation was, that Halsey was too far away to matter and his big battleships could have destroyed the entire US invasion force before Halsey could get there. The Japanese Admiral just withdrew, thinking he had done his duty.
Now you wonder why I mention all of this in regard to a rumor that Jason Falls has been hired as Director at the LeGrand Center. I mention it for one reason only. After many calls and messages to the Cleveland County Commissioner’s staff in the middle of the week and calls over the course of the working day, nobody is there to answer my question. I leave messages at every number in the system that I got off the County Website. I finally talk to the County Clerk who tells me the County Manager is unavailable, the Assistant County Manager is unavailable and that she can’t answer my question. I say this is an easy question and the answer is either yes or no. She gets off the phone for a moment and comes back telling me that the County Human Resources Manager is the only one that can answer my question. And, of course, the County HR Manager is unavailable too. So, do I want to leave a voicemail?
Well, it is pretty obvious that I am getting the runaround and the Clerk has her orders. I say, no thanks to the voicemail offer. I will make a formal request in writing and copy everybody down at the County Office Building. I am copying you too so nobody anywhere in the world will misunderstand what I am asking.
Here is my question, now questions, regarding the hiring of Jason Falls as the Director of the LeGrand Center. Please note that this job was previously held by Commissioner Chairman Eddie Holbrook’s wife at a salary of $80,000 that was paid through the Cleveland Community College. It clearly appears to me that this job’s pay was run through CCC books so Eddie Holbrook and his wife could avoid the nepotism laws of North Carolina. And recently the County Commissioners took over control of the LeGrand Center, which means that the payroll for this Director’s job will be paid through the county. Other rumors and speculations are Holbrook’s wife will be coming back to run the LeGrand Center in some fashion. No telling about that.
So, folks, my imagination, backed by the fact that Former Commissioner Jason Falls has exactly ZERO training and ZERO genuine experience running a facility like the LeGrand Center, indicates to me that something with a foul smell is going on with this job at the LeGrand Center. And with Jason Falls too as Falls has failed at about every business he has had his hand in.
Therefore: Cleveland County as well as Cleveland Community College; Under the Freedom of Information Act as well as North Carolina Public Records laws, I am requesting all information, documents, records, policies, procedures, applications, job descriptions, qualifications required, interview records, hiring records, Job offers, employment contracts, pay scales, identity, etc. related to the position of Director of the LeGrand Center and the winning candidate for this position as well as all staff members that work for or with that Director.
Robert A. Williams
Stay tuned folks. This article with the official request for public records has been sent directly to every Commissioner and to every Cleveland Community College Board of Trustee member. Citizens have questions and deserve answers, not a continual runaround.