PEMBROKE — Lumbee Tribal Chairman Harvey Godwin Jr. has fired Mitchell “Bosco” Locklear, the tribe’s longtime housing director.
Godwin gave no specific reason for Locklear’s dismissal, saying that the subject is a personnel matter. Locklear’s last day was Friday.
“We are appreciative to Mr. Locklear’s contributions to the tribe, and I know he will find new ways to serve the tribe in the future,” Godwin said.
Godwin could not say how long Locklear was employed by the tribal government or served as housing director. A former Tribal Council member, however, said that Locklear has been involved in administering the tribe’s housing policies for at least 16 years.
The Robesonian tried repeatedly to contact Locklear but without success.
Locklear, a former member of the Public Schools of Robeson County Board of Education, has frequently been criticized by tribal members contacting The Robesonian to complain of unfair treatment when attempting to get housing help.
Godwin said Monday that when he campaigned to become chairman he ran on a platform of transparency, accountability and service to all members of the tribe.
“This decision was made after thorough consideration of our administrative goals, expectations and performance,” Godwin said. “We are taking a new direction to create more opportunities for tribal members, improve organization and functionality, and increase customer service to our members overall.”
According to Godwin, the tribe’s current housing staff is “competent” to handle housing matters until a new housing director can be hired. The interim director will be David McGirt, the tribe’s housing rehabilitation manager for the past several months, Godwin said.
“In the near future, we will be soliciting (a new housing director) through a national search,” Godwin said. “Of course we will also be accepting applications from locals who may be interested in the position.”
Godwin, who just completed his first year as chairman, made several major personnel changes when he first took office. He declined to comment Monday on whether or not there will be other key personnel changes in the near future.
“This is a long process,” he said. “We will have to see how things go.”
Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.