The situation concerning the now former town manager of Pembroke and the misuse of public money landed where it was always destined, with the Town Council reluctantly making the decision to terminate Oryan Lowry.
If there was an upset it was in how the votes were cast. Larry Brooks, who will leave the council once an election can be held that can be trusted by the folks living in that town, voted against Lowry’s termination, while Ryan Sampson and Allen Dial, who brought Lowry on board and then offered him a contract, favored termination.
It’s easy to conclude that Dial was swayed by the fact that his re-election is far from assured during the March 11 do-over election, and keeping on board a manager who treated taxpayer money as his own might cost him a vote or two that could decide what will likely be a close race.
Hopefully Lowry has learned a lesson and can rehabilitate himself. But we wonder what kind of culture existed that he was so brazen.
Lowry simply used a town’s credit card to make purchases that could easily be identified as for personal use, and not the business of Pembroke. There was ample paper work available to anyone, including you, that provided evidence of this abuse. Inspector Clouseau could have connected the dots.
It begs the question: Has such abuse been tolerated in the past? And if so, by whom?
The Town Council says it now has a policy in place that will prevent similar abuse in the future It puts hard words in black and white while eliminating any gray in what is and is not an accepted use.
Although Lowry wasn’t a politician, his position was public — and, by extension, political. He seemed to have been seduced by the same lack of a sense of accountability that brings down so many in public life, officials who believe they can do as they please and there will be no ramifications.
This arrogance manifests itself in innumerable ways, but perhaps most frequently when it comes to the town’s treasury. Politicians, as some of our county commissioners have demonstrated for a decade and a half, seem to believe they have been given a key to the vault, and they will do with the money as they please.
Too frequently, politicians get away with it. One shoe came down in Pembroke. Perhaps another one is hanging.