Under the Dome

Former ALE director’s hearing is next week

An administrative law judge will hear former state Alcohol Law Enforcement division director John Ledford’s challenge to his firing next week in Raleigh.

The hearing is expected to take three days, and will focus solely on Ledford’s claim that he was fired in April because he was a Democrat replaced by the new Republican administration.

It’s common for a new administration to replace key agency leaders, but Ledford tried to avoid the ax by reassigning himself from director to agent. The state Department of Public Safety said he didn’t have the authority to do that.

Earlier, Judge Fred Morrison Jr. ruled Ledford didn’t have career employee protection.