Fired Department Of Sanitation Director Speaks Out

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- Former Director for the Fort Smith Department of Sanitation, Baridi Nkokheli, was in high spirits on Tuesday (Dec 8), a day after being fired from his job.

"This is new. I'm sitting here in my t-shirt and my house shoes trying to figure out where the unemployment office is," Nkokheli joked. "I don't even know how to file for unemployment."

Nkokheli was the director of The Fort Smith Department of Sanitation for more than 10 years. He said on Monday (Dec. 7), acting city administrator Jeff Dingman called him into a meeting at 2 p.m. and fired him.

"He read out five complaints from an investigation that was conducted by a private investigator," Nkokheli said.

Read the document here.

In the termination letter Nkokheli said he received lists:

  1. Insubordination in violation of Section III.H.
  2. Solicitation of personal loan from vendor,in violation of Section III and the Code of Business Conduct, Section II.
  3. Solicitation of personal loan from subordinate employees in violation of Section III and the Code of Business Conduct, Section III.
  4. Misuse of city equipment and personnel for repair of personal vehicle,in violation of Section III and the Code of Business Conduct, Section II.

Nkokheli denies the allegations.

"I feel in my humble opinion that this is just an agenda between five individuals who are friends, who have an agenda based on the fact that they had some issues with me relating to my over site on their job responsibilities," he said.

Acting City Administrator, Jeff Dingman did not respond to any request for comment on this matter.

Nkokheli said he is now seeking legal representation and plans to sue the City of Fort Smith, Jeff Dingman and city auditor Tracey Shockley.

Nkokheli was asked if he would be seeking to be reinstated into his former position.

"I have initially went on record saying no. But I think what I will wait and do is wait on what an attorney will say once we are ready to proceed, as to whether or not part of the recourse to seek some remedy will include me accepting the job back," Nkokheli said.

The complete interview with Nkokheli is below.

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