Ridgecrest town clerk fired

Published 12:05 am Saturday, August 4, 2012

Ridgecrest — The Ridgecrest Board of Aldermen unanimously voted to terminate Town Clerk Cyndie Dillon at a specially called meeting Thursday evening citing insubordination issues from the last public town hall meeting.

Dillon’s termination comes just three weeks after her husband, Paul Dillon, was also terminated from his position as Town Water Superintendent after four years on the job.

Mayor Dwayne Sikes made the recommendation for the board to vote on Dillon’s termination Thursday, saying she had spoken out of line and called one town resident a liar at the last meeting.

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“Her actions were totally unacceptable for a town clerk,” Sikes said. “After she called one of our residents a liar, I didn’t have to think about it a whole lot.

“It was just something that had to be done.”

The reported insubordination issues stem from a specially called meeting on July 13, when the town voted to terminate Dillon’s husband.

Paul Dillon’s termination was linked to an incident that occurred at the town’s water plant on July 5, when the town’s water supply was believed to be in danger.

As Sikes and the board recalled the events of what happened that day at the meeting, Dillon also contributed to the conversation.

But Sikes cut several of those comments short.

“During that meeting I had to ask her to be quiet three different times,” Sikes said. “She is not supposed to even talk unless we ask her something.”

As Sikes and the board continued during that meeting to work through the details of what occurred, resident Mitzi Boyler chimed in with her account.

But after straying off topic to another unrelated incident between Boyler and Paul Dillon, Cyndie Dillon quickly defended her husband on statements she said were untrue.

“You’re a liar,” Dillon said to Boyler at the previous meeting.

Cyndie Dillon said she stood by her statements defending her husband, but admitted that the situation might have gotten the best of her.

“That meeting was just so heated that even the audience was unruly,” Cyndie Dillon said. “I wanted to apologize to the board for my unprofessional choice of words, but the fact still remains that it was an untrue statement.”

Even after the meeting, Cyndie Dillon said she continued working at town hall without any problems, until another argument between her and Sikes ensued last week.

Sikes asked Cyndie Dillon to leave early last Friday, and the specially called meeting to discuss her termination was arranged for Thursday.

“It’s not the first time we disagreed on a situation, but I knew (the termination) was going to happen,” Cyndie Dillon said. “I knew it was happening, but I still did my job.”

After terminating Dillon from the town clerk position, the board voted to name Shannon Beatty as acting town clerk for a six-month probationary period.

Beatty served as assistant town clerk for the Town of Ferriday under former Mayor Glen McGlothin from 2000 to 2004. She also served as town clerk under Ferriday Mayor Gene Allen during his previous term from 2004 to 2008.