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Solid Waste Manager arrested, fired

Jan. 14, Franklin County Solid Waste Manager Phillip Wilson was arrested and charged with one count of trafficking a controlled substance and one count of conspiracy to commit a controlled substance crime, according to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

The Franklin County Drug Task Force, comprising one FCSO officer and one RPD officer, conducted the investigation that implicated Wilson in a controlled substance crime involving myriad prescription pills.

“The investigation started around the early part of January,” said Franklin County Sheriff Shannon Oliver. Oliver said Wilson was on the premises when another Russellville resident was arrested, which led to the ensuing investigation.

Wilson was released on bond, which was set at $25,000.

Following an executive session at the county commission’s work session Jan. 11, Wilson was put on administrative leave with pay. At the commission’s monthly meeting Tuesday, Wilson’s employment with the county was terminated.

“I feel it is in the best interest and welfare of the county to terminate him,” read Probate Judge Barry Moore from a prepared statement.

County attorney Roger Bedford said being charged with a crime, in and of itself, is not grounds for dismissal from county employment. Being convicted of a crime is grounds for dismissal. Bedford said Wilson’s termination lists multiple reasons, which are in accordance with the county’s policy and procedures.

Wilson will have 14 days to appeal the termination, if he deems appropriate, Bedford said.