CAPE CARTERET — Administrative assistant Heather Leffingwell replaced Sherrie Hancock as town clerk earlier this month after the latter was dismissed by Cape Carteret Town Manager Zach Steffey.
Mr. Steffey declined Monday to disclose the reasons for Ms. Hancock’s dismal, citing state personnel policy statutes.
Town Commissioner Steve Martin said Monday he did not know the reason for the dismissal and learned of Ms. Leffingwell’s appointment to the post through a phone call from Mr. Steffey.
He said he was not told, nor did he ask, the reason for the former clerk’s dismissal, as it is up to the town manager to make those decisions under the council-manager form of government.
Mr. Steffey said Ms. Leffingwell was sworn in Sept. 11. The town did not make an announcement of the dismissal or the swearing in of a new clerk.
The town manger said Monday no town board action was necessary for the dismissal or the elevation of Ms. Leffingwell to the clerk’s position.
Mayor Will Baker said Monday there was no malfeasance, just that “sometimes things don’t work out.”
Ms. Hancock started work Feb. 19 and was hired at an annual salary of $38,763. She replaced Ashleigh Huffman, who stepped down in November 2019 after four years on the job. She was earning $45,666 when she took a job in the private sector.
Ms. Hancock could not be reached for comment.
Ms. Leffingwell’s salary as clerk is $43,383. As administrative assistant, her salary was $37,392. She twice previously served as interim town clerk.
Ms. Leffingwell said she’s enjoyed getting to know and assist residents and help them in her role as administrative assistant and is “grateful for the opportunity and look forward to my new role as the town clerk.”
She lives in town with her husband, Tom, and previously worked as a teller for Sound Bank. Before that, she was a stay-at-home mom.
She graduated from Memphis State University in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
“Heather … during that time (as interim clerk) demonstrated exceptional skill and ability to perform the duties of the position,” Mr. Steffey said in an email in response to News-Times questions Monday. “I have consistently been impressed with her positive attitude and the contributions that she has made to various town projects and initiatives.”
Ms. Leffingwell has worked for Cape Carteret for about five years and been deeply involved in projects and in planning and executing events, such as Christmas at the Cape, the fall festival and scheduling of summer music concerts in the park behind town hall.
“I am confident that Heather will do a great job in the town clerk and human resources officer role and I am excited that she has taken this next step in her local government career,” Mr. Steffey said.
He said Ms. Leffingwell will become a certified municipal clerk with a 20-day course, spread out over a one-year period.
The town is now seeking a replacement for Ms. Leffingwell, at a salary to be determined based on qualifications and experience.
Applications should be submitted to Ms. Leffingwell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email Brad@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.