Candor, NC -- Six months after the town board of commissioners in Candor voted to fire four of the town's five police officers, three of them are getting their jobs back.
For six months, there's been no explanation. But with those firings came a domino effect.
The town protested. The commissioner who started it all, Wayne Holyfield, resigned. And the town has been paying more than it can afford in unemployment.
At a meeting Monday night, the Candor Board of Commissioners voted four to one to rehire three of the four fired police officers.
"There's been a lot of citizens coming to the meetings. There have been a lot of citizens wanting answers. There have been a lot of people here that wanted answers. Police officers wanted answers. We've listened to the citizens of Candor," said Philip Hearne, one of the town commissioners.
The officers' jobs were the white elephant in the room at Monday night's meeting, even though the bulk of the meeting was spent discussing the town's budget.
At one point, the advisor to the board, Ron Niland, said he didn't factor unemployment costs into the town's budget because he didn't know if people who were not employed today, would be employed tomorrow.
At that point, everyone knew what was coming next.
After a closed door meeting, commissioners voted to rehire Chief Randy White, Sgt. James Pierce, and Patrolman Jeremy Blake, effective July 1, 2012.
Grantland Jackson, who was also fired, has already been hired by another police department.
"This is the end of a six month story of scandal and ridicule that's been heaped upon the town of Candor. Certainly, for the sake of the officers, I'm glad the town board took the position they did," said Pierce. "We're glad to be coming back to work. We want to look after our town."
Blake said this is a relief.
"I'd like to thank everybody in the town that's supported us and backed us because we couldn't have done it without them," Blake said.
Holyfield, who lead the charge to fire the officers in the first place, resigned last month. The other commissioners who voted to fire them were Tim Privette and Rob Martin.
On Monday, Privette had a change of heart, but Martin voted to keep the officers off the force.
With three former police officers back on the rolls, that means Chief Johnny Fulp will be terminated. Fulp will stay on for a month to help transition the team back.
Fulp told News 2 on Monday night, he plans to get out of law enforcement.
Commissioners did approve the budget at the meeting.
Had they not voted to rehire the fired officers, they would have had to pay between $50,000 and $70,000 in unemployment benefits in the coming year.
WFMY News 2