County judge-elect fires four employees

Jefferson County Judge-elect Dutch King confirmed Friday that four county employees will not be retained when he takes office Jan. 1.

King said he personally delivered letters to the four Thursday, telling them their services will no longer be needed and wishing them well in their future endeavors.

King said two of the letters went to employees at the County Road Department and confirmed that Road Superintendent Rickey Bullard was one of those two.

Letters also went to an employee of County Building and Grounds and the county Recycling Department.

Bullard, who had been with the County Road Department for 26 years, said he and two others, Sam Magsby who also works for the road department and Sandra Graves, who works for county recycling, were all called to the county judge’s office Thursday, with Bullard arriving first and meeting with King.

“He said ‘there’s no easy way to say this. Your services are no longer going to be required by the county,’” Bullard said. “He handed me my letter and I said thank you and walked out.”

Bullard said he has been told the conversations went the same way with Magsby, who works with the Road Department, and with Graves, who worked with the recycling department, but he could not speak for them.

There were no listings in the phone book for Magsby and Graves.

King declined to identify the second road department employee or the recycling department employee. He did confirm that County Building and Grounds Superintendent Thomas Tidwell also received a letter.

The voice mailbox on Tidwell’s cell phone was full and would not accept additional messages Friday.

King said he had “people in mind” to replace the four and was “trying to finalize everything.”

Bullard said he’s done his job.

“I’ve always done my job. Sometimes I think I overdone my job,” said Bullard.

“I don’t feel bad,” Bullard said. “If he (King) can live with it, so can I.”

Bullard said he had hoped to work with the road department for another two years but at this point, “I guess I’m going to go ahead and retire.”

“I’m going to hold my head up and through Christ, I’m going to make it,” Bullard said.