- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 7, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina’s intermediate appeals court says sheriff’s employees aren’t subject to the same job protections as county government workers when it comes to political activity.

A split three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals upheld Tuesday firings of two former Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Department workers by then-Sheriff Chipp Bailey.

Deputy Timothy Stanley and jail counselor Ivan McLaughlin accused Bailey of firing them for failing to contribute to and volunteer on Bailey’s 2010 re-election campaign.

Two of the three judges agreed the sheriff’s workers didn’t have safeguards “county employees” get under the law. The judges also cited evidence showing McLaughlin was terminated for failing to follow department policies.

A third judge on the panel disagreed some with her colleagues, opening the door for an automatic appeal to the state Supreme Court.

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