DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Durham’s city manager released a statement Tuesday to explain why one the city’s newest executive hires is being immediately terminated.
James Lyons was hired on May 8 as Durham’s solid waste management director. In the hiring process, City Manager Wanda Page said Lyons “misrepresented his experience in the solid waste industry.”
How did it come to be that he was able to get the job? Page said it was due to a recruitment firm that did not conduct a basic screening for “minimum requirements.”
“While the City generally performs its own recruitment activities for many vacant positions, for executive-level positions the City contracts with recruitment firms,” Page explained.
In this case, PoliHire, a national firm based in Washington D.C. which specializes in public service recruitment for municipalities, handled the search for the position—which had been vacant since December 2022.
According to Page, PoliHire has confirmed that their process “did not happen as contracted.”
According to a video produced by the city, Lyons was introduced to the community as someone with eight years of experience as a Collection Superintendent for the City of High Point. Under his responsibilities as a department head in Durham, Lyons oversaw 120 full-time employees.
Lyons’ termination is effective immediately.
In moving forward, Page said the city is now “assessing next steps to fill this position and will be conducting a review of its own processes when administering contracts with executive-level recruitment firms.”