Piedmont City Manager Fired 2 Weeks After State Audit

Tuesday, August 24th 2021, 6:00 pm
By: Storme Jones

The Piedmont City Manager Jason Orr is out of a job two weeks after a state audit alleged he broke state and local laws in purchasing two vehicles on behalf of the city.

Together, the vehicles purchased totaled less than $60,000 however Orr is now out of a job over the ordeal.

“I move that we terminate the employment of the city manager immediately,” Councilman Kevan Blasdel said Monday after the council emerged from an executive session.

Orr was fired with a 4-to-1 vote.

“I'm going to ask the council to hold their comments at this time and I'm going to adjourn this meeting,” Mayor Kurt Mayabb said.

The termination comes after a state auditor's report raised red flags over the 2020 purchase of two vehicles. It found the purchases by the city manager were not properly bid out nor were they approved by city council. The report also concluded Orr likely violated the state's open meetings law by individually contacting city council members to solicit a vote count.

Read: State Auditor Report Says City Of Piedmont Violated State, City Laws In Purchasing 2 Vehicles

“The city manager was under the impression that he could ‘do it like he’s always done it,’” Councilman Jonathan Hisey told News 9 earlier this month. “That’s the way I’ve always done it type of attitude and that’s why he did what he did.”

State Auditor Cindy Byrd said there's no evidence Orr personally benefited from the purchases.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to have served the Piedmont community for the past five years,” Orr told News 9 in a statement. “I will certainly miss the amazing people I have befriended during that time and I wish them nothing but the best moving forward.”

As is standard practice, the audit was sent to the district attorney and attorney general’s office who will decide if charges should be brought.