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Commissioner could be censured for making personal copies on county-owned copier

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SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) -

Four Rowan County commissioners have voted to being the process that could lead to the censure of Commissioner Jon Barber.

Chairman Jim Sides brought up the issue, referring back to an incident in January in which commissioners confronted Barber about using a county owned copying machine to make personal copies.

At the time, Barber apologized and said it wouldn't happen again, according to Sides. Now, Sides claims that Barber has continued to use the equipment.

"Based on what was considered a violation of the code of ethics," Sides said. "The impropriety noted was the use of county equipment and supplies for what appeared to be non-county related business."

Commissioners Pierce, Caskey, and Mitchell joined Sides in voting for censure.

Barber read a prepared statement in which he claimed the accusations were being made now because commissioners were upset with him for answering questions posed by the Salisbury Post about county business.

"It's not secret that the majority of the board has been upset with me because I responded to a question from the media about county business," Barber said. "I am open and transparent with the public. This is about keeping me from talking to the media and the public."

Commissioner Craig Pierce denied Barber's allegation.

"In no way shape or form is this retribution for Mr. Barber speaking to the press," Pierce said.

A censure vote would have to be discussed in upcoming meetings. In effect, it would simply be a way for commissioners to go on the record expressing dissatisfaction with the actions of a fellow commissioner.

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