Ocracoke community is buzzing over the firings Friday, June 10, of 11
North Carolina Ferry Division workers at the Silver Lake Ferry terminal
Word was out over the weekend after seven career employees and four temporary employees were dismissed.
fired are Albert O’Neal, 44, ferry operations manager II and 27-year
employee, and Scotty Robinson, 54, a ferry master.
to information sent Monday by Ferry Division Information Officer Tim
Hass, the four temporary employees NCDOT were dismissed as of June 10
for “unacceptable personal conduct”: Leland Yeomans, 66, security
guard; James Gaskill, 24, general utility worker; Tyler Hamilton, 18,
ferry crew member I; Alexander Chadwick, 23, ferry crew member II.
to O’Neal and Robinson, the other career state employees fired
from NCDOT as of June 10 are Robert Samson, Jr., 41, ferry crew
member I; Kevin Styron, 36, ferry chief engineer; Casey Tolson, 20,
ferry crew member II; Rickey Tillett, 56, processing assistant III; and
Michael Daniels, 20, ferry crew member II.
Hass did not give a reason for the termination of these career employees.
there is talk in the community about the reasons for the firings, the
Ocracoke Observer did not receive any reasons from Hass nor did he say
if a less severe action was explored.
an appeals process for all permanent state employees,” Hass said in an
email. “NCDOT cannot release any additional information until
these career state employees exhaust their state personnel appeal
As for the
vacated positions, Hass said the Ferry Division is filling in from
other shifts and other routes where necessary but he could provide no
islanders than usual attended the regular monthly meeting with Ferry
Division personnel in the Ocracoke Community Center to
question the firings, but they did not get answers from Jed Dixon,
deputy Ferry Division director, or Chris Bock, Hatteras operations
superintendent, who attended for the ferry division.
Dixon told the more than two dozen attendees, including O’Neal and Robinson, that he could not comment on the action.
“There is an open-ended personnel matter we’re not going to discuss,” Dixon said before discussion began.
“This is our community,” said islander Cindy Gaskill. “Why didn’t Ed Goodwin come down to this meeting? This is a witch hunt.”
Goodwin is the Ferry Division chief who reportedly fired the 11 ferry workers.
Fletcher, the county commissioner representing Ocracoke, asked if the
firings would affect any of the Hatteras runs, Dixon said they would
Hatteras ferry operations, Dixon said the division is using seven boats
now -- five smaller ferries and two larger ones. Last year, the
division used four large boats and two small ones.
A third larger boat will be ready for service at the end of June, Bock said.
said that although the ferry division was contracted recently by Dare
County to do a dredge project in the Hatteras Inlet, that area has
already filled in.
requested us to do it again,” Dixon said, but the worst shoaling is in
a section of the channel the state is not responsible for.
other officials have said repeatedly that the worst area of shoaling in
the inlet is controlled by the federal government and managed by the
Army Corps of Engineers.
of the channel can only be dredged to 100 feet wide. It would take
federal legislation passed to double the size of that dredgable area.