County fires 911 director

by Kate Shunney

Morgan County Commissioners voted unanimously on Wednesday, October 17 to terminate the employment of the county’s 911 director, Zachary Caldwell. The action came after an hour-long closed personnel hearing at the outset of the regular commission meeting.

Caldwell left that hearing after roughly 45 minutes, accompanied by a Sheriff’s deputy, then returned to the county meeting room when commissioners came back into open session.

Caldwell had been on paid administrative leave since October 3. County officials declined to give a reason for his suspension then.

Courthouse sources say Caldwell had been accused of unprofessional behavior with 911 center employees, including yelling and throwing things.

Director duties were shifted to Deputy 911 director Sarah Hogbin during Caldwell’s previous leave.

On Wednesday, Commission President Joel Tuttle made a motion to place Caldwell on paid leave until November 28, then terminate his employment on that date. Tuttle said Caldwell was to return all county property to the Sheriff by Friday, October 19. Tuttle’s motion passed 3-0.

Tuttle thanked Caldwell for his service to Morgan County. Caldwell was hired as 911 director for Morgan County in January of 2013.

In response to questions about the reason for the firing, all three commissioners declined to comment. Tuttle said they were advised not to discuss the action. Prosecuting Attorney Dan James participated in the closed personnel session prior to the firing.