Three fired from Superintendent’s office
Three employees at the Grundy County Road Superintendent’s office are without jobs as of last week. Dennis Byers, Tommy Birdwell, and Brent King claim they were fired for not supporting Hubert “Turkey” Hargis during the recent county election.
“Y’all refused to support me in the election, go clean your truck out, and go home,” says Brent King, one of the fired workers, when asked what reason he was given on the morning of May 7 when he was let go. Mr. King also stated that Hargis told him, “y’all tried to take my job, now I’m taking yours.” He was then given a separation notice that stated the reason for his firing was “poor performance and killing time”.
Tommy Birdwell had worked for the department for four years on the morning he was fired. Hargis told him, “You didn’t support me in the election and voted against me.”
Dennis Byers was also fired on May 7 for what he believes was political retribution. Dennis had worked for the road department for 11 years. He also says that Hargis told him he was being fired for not supporting him during the election.
This type of work environment appears to be status quo in the Road Superintendent’s office. A few months ago, Greg Smartt left his job with the department after 20 years, claiming that Hargis accused him of electioneering for another candidate. Smartt said this was not true but Hargis did not believe him and he felt pressured to leave and keep the peace. “When it comes to Turkey, it is his way or no way,” says Smartt.
The Grundy County Herald tried to reach Hargis several times for a comment but no one was in his office. However, he did appear on a local newscast denying these claims.