Port Wentworth public safety director fired

Port Wentworth public safety director fired

PORT WENTWORTH, Ga. (WTOC) - Port Wentworth Mayor Gary Norton confirms that Public Safety Director Matt Libby has been fired.

Mayor Norton says that the new interim city administrator made the call. Libby oversaw the Port Wentworth fire and police departments.

For the last few years, Libby was the public safety administrator for the city. He overlooked the fire, the police department, the SWAT team and the EMTs.

The mayor says he did a lot for the city including the training for the fire department saying it’s the best it’s ever been. He says he just wishes this would all end in fact he says he played no role in this decision.

“I wish it would just stop. I bumped heads with Libby in the past and I got to be mayor. Guess what, Libby is doing a fine job. He’s done a good job for the city and all of the police found here look up to him,” Norton said.

As of right now the mayor says there is no plan for hiring someone new.

Maj. Lee Sherrod is the interim police chief. The interim fire chief is Lance Moore.

Interim City Administrator Steve Davis sent a statement to city council about Libby’s termination:

"Mr. Libby was terminated this morning for multiple reasons. Before his termination, Mr. Libby was given the opportunity to resign but refused. Mr. Libby was a contract worker and an employee at will. His conduct over the last week was unbecoming, reflected discredit on the city and was insubordinate. Mr. Libby held serious personal animosity toward elected leadership of the City and made several disparaging comments about superiors. The events leading up to his dismissal were started by Mr. Libby when he requested a meeting and these comments were made. Since that meeting there were actions taken by Mr. Libby that were questionable including the unauthorized changing of a city cell phone. Mr. Libby also filed an Open Records request this morning prior to his dismissal, which is within his rights. However, the Open Records Request was for a video of a meeting concerning personnel issues in the Interim City Administrators office where no surveillance should be located. Further, within minutes Mr. Libby directed his subordinate staff to collect the videos for the Open Records Request which is not in compliance with the procedure of handling open records request. Furthermore, Mr. Libby did not tell the subordinate staff member that he personally made this Open Records Request.

A full separation notice will be completed in the coming days and given to Mr. Libby.

Major Sherrod was promoted to Interim Police Chief effective immediately."

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