A Southern Pines native that had been fired by the NC Division of Motor Vehicles earlier this year will be reinstated to his job with the State of North Carolina following a judges ruling and recent settlement negotiations.
Area media reports state that Wes Little was fired from the Division of Motor Vehicles in February 2016 after a state auditor investigated a hotline tip and recommended firing or disciplining Little for working for his wife’s side business that sold and serviced fire extinguishers.
He was reportedly terminated for violating the state’s policy on secondary employment, violating the ethics policy, for conduct unbecoming a state employee and for conduct for which no reasonable person would expect prior warning against.
Little was a longtime employee of the agency working for almost 27 years stationed in Charlotte and then Fayetteville. He held the rank of Lieutenant with DMV when the disciplinary actions were initiated.
In addition to working for DMV, Litttle has been a member of Southern Pines Fire & Rescue for many years which had been approved by the state.
Administrative Law Judge Fred Morrison Junior ruled against the firing in September, writing that Little had an unblemished record.
“A local fireman helping his teacher wife by servicing fire extinguishers, with no findings that it affected the performance of his DMV duties, did not constitute serious/substantial misconduct justifying his being dismissed,” Morrison wrote.
The judge ordered him reinstated with back pay and reimbursement of up to $7,500 in attorney’s fees. The state appealed the decision, but settlement talks are reported to have resolved the matter.
After the settlement negotiations, Little will reportedly begin a new position with the State Capital Police.