Tribune-Courier News Editor
BENTON – Months after releasing its superintendent, the North Marshall Water District has dismissed its bookkeeper. Paula Boling– who brought forth allegations of misconduct against former superintendent Brad Anderson– was released Thursday night after a 2-1 vote by the water board.
Boling, an 18-year employee with district, had previously been suspended by the board for “actions unbecoming an employee of the North Marshall Water district.”
Anderson was arrested in January for theft by unlawful taking. In April, the board voted 3-2 to dismiss Anderson. Board members Billy Driskell and Gordon Hargrove voted in favor of keeping Anderson, despite reports of mismanagement and theft accusations.
Thursday, Driskell and Hargrove were in the majority, voting to terminate Boling’s employment. Hargrove brought the motion to the floor, but no specific reason was given for the termination.
Board member Bob Turner was the lone vote against the dismissal. Former board member Gary Clark resigned earlier this month, leaving only three voting members on the board.
“I think it’s a shame that we fire this good woman, an 18-year employee, at this point in time with what little evidence we’ve got against her for any wrong doing,” Turner said. “She hasn’t been found guilty in a court of law and I think it’s an outrage.”
Boling has not been charged in any legal matters, but Turner’s words were similar to Driskell’s in April when he spoke in favor of keeping the then suspended Anderson as superintendent.
Chairman BW Darnell, likewise, spoke out in Boling’s favor.
“I do not agree with the firing of Paula,” Darnell said. “She’s an 18-year employee of North Marshall Water and she’s done a good job.”
Boling, who had previously said she feared retaliation by board members for raising concerns about the district, said she would be seeking legal advice on how to proceed.