2 fired from Tax Assessor office: Board of Supervisors president disagrees with decision

Published 9:59 am Friday, November 13, 2015

A county official is being criticized after firing two of her employees and giving one a $20,000 raise as the holiday season and the end of her term are approaching.

In Monday’s docket meeting, Tax Assessor/Collector Rita Goss requested the Board of Supervisors approve to fire two employees in her office and give another employee a $20,000 pay increase. In one of its recent meetings, the Board of Supervisors denied a request by Goss to give the same employee the same raise. A county official present at the meeting called it a “fiasco” and said the tax assessor/collector, who was recently unseated, threatened to fire more people.

Board of Supervisors President Eddie Brown said what Goss did was morally wrong and unfair to the employees of that office. Brown confirmed the two employees had been working in the tax office for at least four years.

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“I never like to see an employee to be fired at Christmastime,” Brown said. “If they’ve been doing wrong they should’ve been fired before now. To come in after an election trying to fire people, it doesn’t look right and isn’t right.”

Goss, a Democrat, was defeated by Republican Blake Pickering in the General Election. Pickering had 6,201 votes (59.60 percent) against Goss’s 4,197 votes (40.34 percent) in unofficial numbers.

In Monday’s meeting, Supervisors Jimmy Diamond, Noland Williamson, Dudley Nations and Rev. Jerry Wilson voted to approve Goss’s requests. Brown voted against the raise and firings, and refused to sign the document. A designated board member signed in his place.

“I believe the board should’ve stood their ground and said no to all of this,” Brown said. “And I think it would have been correct to have done that.”

Editor’s note: The board approved Goss’s recommendation, but was told by the county attorney that it has no authority over pay raises or terminations in the tax office.