Embattled Mayfield fires chief deputy

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Carroll County Sheriff Randy Mayfield fired Chief Deputy Maj. George Frye on Monday, Frye confirmed.

“I have been terminated, and I’m reviewing my options,” Frye said.

Mayfield did not return messages on his office and cell phone.

The firing came on Frye’s first day at work after a weeklong vacation and less than a week after former District 3 Justice of the Peace Lamont Richie’s resignation. In his resignation letter, Richie writes that Frye and other employees of the sheriff’s office reached out to him privately after Mayfield admitted to using a homosexual slur in reference to Richie.

Mayfield initially denied making the comments, which occurred during a meeting with two sheriff’s office employees on Oct. 2. However, after Carroll County Newspapers obtained video footage from a security camera located outside the meeting room, Mayfield admitted using the slur in reference to Richie and apologized in a letter.

In his letter, Mayfield writes that he used the slur during “a momentary loss of professionalism.”

Mayfield has not commented since then.

Richie resigned on Oct. 30. His resignation letter cited Mayfield’s comments and the lack of any official response from other county leaders.

“Since the ‘momentary lapse’ (that lasted from October 6 until October 22 and likely would have continued had it not been for ‘the recording’) following the Sheriff’s homophobic slur, many people, including Lt. Mark Bailey, Maj. George Frye and Lt. Jerry Williams from the CCSO, have reached out to me privately disavowing and condemning the mindset that resulted in one person calling another ‘f****t,’ ” Richie writes. “Friends have expressed horror and dismay. My appreciation has been heart-felt. … Yet, to my knowledge, there has been nothing officially said since this happened to assure the many LGBTQ people living in Carroll County that it won’t happen to anyone else.”

Richie said he was informed of Frye’s firing on Monday.

“I was sorry to learn of it,” he said.

Asked if he thought the firing was related to his own difficulties with Mayfield, Richie said: “That was my first thought.”

Richie said he spoke with Frye after the firing.

“I asked if he was planning to file a grievance, and he didn’t have an answer,” Richie said. “I’m sure there was some shock. It’s sad.”



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