Residents concerned about past experience of new Grifton town manager

Residents concerned about past experience of new Grifton City Manager
Published: May. 30, 2023 at 9:38 PM EDT
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GRIFTON, N.C. (WITN) - Residents in one town in the east are raising questions after a new town manager with a questionable past has been hired.

“We want to know how can elected officials who have been fired from another county for misappropriation of funds, why do we need them in Grifton,” Grifton resident Yvette Thorbs said.

The new town manager many Grifton residents are concerned about is Oryan Lowry.

According to Mayor Billy Ray Jackson, town leaders decided to hire him last week.

A spokesperson for the town of Pembroke, NC said he was dismissed as the town manager of Pembroke in 2016.

According to our sister station WRAL, it was discovered he used the town’s credit card for personal purchases.

Longtime Grifton resident Lee Ann Vasquez’s main concern is how the town of Grifton hired Lowry during a closed-door meeting last week.

“This needs to be out in public where all the citizens in Grifton who pay taxes know about this,” Vasquez said.

We reached out to Mayor Jackson about the decision to hire Lowry and he sent the following statement:

“We had a conversation about Mr. Lowry in a closed session. Municipalities are allowed to have closed sessions when discussing personnel issues. His qualifications satisfied the board.”

According to WRAL and the town of Pembroke, he was never charged for misusing town credit cards.

Lowry plans to make a statement on Thursday, June 1. His first day as Grifton’s Town Manager.