Under the Dome

DPS says ex-ALE director Ledford's move was inappropriate

The state Department of Public Safety on Monday disclosed it had "ethical and legal concerns" that prompted it to fire former Alcohol Law Enforcement Director John Ledford after he demoted himself to agent.

Ledford had no legal authority to transfer a vacant position in Wilmington to Asheville, where he is from, and then essentially assign himself to that spot at an "advanced competency" salary level far in excess of what the position pays, according to a letter to Ledford by DPS Commissioner Frank Perry.

In the move in December, prior to the arrival of a new Republican administration that would have replaced him as head of the ALE, Ledford sought a salary of $65,887 -- making him the highest-paid agent in the state. The position was budgeted at $39,198.

Perry said Ledford, as director, recommended approval of his own request for reassignment, which was then "confirmed" by Chief Operating Officer Mikael Gross rather than the deputy director. Ultimately, then Secretary of DPS Reuben Young approved Ledford's request.

Perry wrote that it was an "inappropriate deviation from normal pratice" and was "nothing more than an attempt to circumvent the provisions of the State Personnel Act." Perry said Ledford's actions constituted unacceptable personal conduct, and on April 10 terminated him immediately.

Because Ledford is was not a career state employee he cannot appeal the department's decision.

Gross was release from employment in January, and was replaced by Perry. Young was replaced by Kieran Shanahan.


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Coach Bags Outlet

Shezanne Cassim, the American jailed in the United Arab Emirates after posting a video parody, was sentenced Monday to one year in prison and a fine of 10,000 UAE dirhams (approximately $2,700).
The young American living in the UAE has been imprisoned since April, his family says, for posting what was intended to be a funny video on the Internet.
He was accused of defaming the UAE's image abroad, according to The National, the country's main English-language newspaper.
The video in question is a 19-minute short that pokes fun at a clique of Dubai teens who are influenced by hip-hop culture. In the 1990s, the label "Satwa G" was coined for a group of suburban teens who were known to talk tougher than they really were.
The video depicts a look at a "combat school" in the suburb of Satwa, where these "gangsters" are trained. The training includes how to throw sandals at targets, using clothing accessories as whips, and how to call on the phone for backup.Cassim's family says the 29-year-old has been charged with endangering national security.The charges were not read out in court. UAE officials would only say "Mr. Cassim was charged under the UAE's penal code. Anyone charged with a crime under the laws of the UAE is entitled to the fair trial protections contained in the UAE's constitution."
Cassim, from Woodbury, Minnesota, moved to Dubai in 2006 after graduating from college to work for PricewaterhouseCoopers.
He and some friends made and posted the video online in 2012. He was arrested in April. He was interrogated and arrested in Dubai before being transferred to a maximum security prison in Abu Dhabi. His family says it was five months before he was notified of the charges against him.

Ledford a Madison County Hemorrhoid

Is this not fraud? When a official fabricates a salary for his own benefit it is fraud and malfeasance.
Shouldn't the attorney general be involved?
Can Ledford run for sheriff in this county if he is being investigated for fraud?
Every tax-payer in this county should request the attorney general to investigate John Ledford for fraud.

Ledford / ALE

(but he comes from a fine old Madison Co democrat family, the nicest folks anywhere!)

LOL, and THEN he hires THE most corrupt loiwyer from Madison Co, Chairman of the SBOE, Larry LEAKE to 'defend' him...WHEN is LEAKE going to be dismissed from the SBOE ???


If Mr. Perry would conduct some extensive interviews he will find some inappropiate behavior from ALE's former Deputy Director of Operations and ii's current acting Director of Operations. The abusive behavior of these two on a daily basis is repulsive. I feel bad for the ladies at the Headquarters office.


I was hoping it was just a matter of time before the new administration did the right thing. Ledford, Page and their puppet Gross bullied and tried to destroy everyone who did not bow down to them. They demonstrated on a daily basis the true meaning of incompetence and abuse of power. While we shouldn't enjoy others misfortune, this is hilarious. And he probably thought he would get away with it. Way to go DPS.


Those who questioned Ledford's suitability to head ALE in the first place are doubtless unsurprised by his actions or subsequent dismissal. As a taxpayer I only wish I could demand reimbursement for having to support him for the last few years--but I guess that could be said of a myriad of state appointees, past and present.

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