Al Heggins fired as human relations director in High Point

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Al Heggins
Al Heggins

Al Heggins has been terminated as human relations director by the city of High Point.

Heggins received a letter yesterday from the city informing her that she had been terminated effective Oct. 1, but would have the opportunity to appeal the decision, said Jason Yates, a member of the human relations commission. Yates said he learned of the development through an exchange of texts with Heggins.

“I think it’s unfortunate,” Yates said. “I hate it for her personally, but I really hate it for the citizens of High Point. She had some really innovative programs, especially for young people, and I think the city’s going to be worse off for not having her.”

Heggins came into conflict with the High Point Police Department when officers took offense to a series of public forums organized by the human relations commission to discuss police-community relations. Heggins has had a discrimination complaint against the city on file with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission since May, and in June she was placed on leave by City Manager Greg Demko.

Reginald Alston, a lawyer in Winston-Salem who represents Heggins, confirmed that his client has been terminated and said she plans to appeal the decision.

The city council voted unanimously to revamp the human relations commission, reducing it from 13 to nine members and dismissing the previous members in the process, in late August. Yates, who previously served as chair of the commission, was reappointed to the body by city council last night.

Yates said he doesn’t know if Program Director Tony Lowe, the only other employee in the department, will assume Heggins’ position, or if the human relations department will be folded into the city’s community relations department. City staff could not be reached for this story.

  • Observer

    Here’s hoping that you folk at TCB have a little more courage than that displayed by HPE in the removal of this story from the web page.
    It can still be Googled up with a simple “Heggins Fired” input, but is not active on the HPE site.
    Local politics at it’s best and local journalism at it’s weakest.

  • Frank Swanson

    Heggins was one of the highest paid persons in the City of High Point, and yet headed a redundant department that served only a minuscule number of citizens. During her time there, she instigated the very racial divisiveness that she decried, sued the city twice (landing a nice cash settlement on the first go around) and generally embarrassed the city at every turn. Only her female-black privilege spared her termination across several years now. But, enough was enough and it was high past time she was terminated.

    Don’t worry, though, as she’ll no doubt land on her feet in a cushy non-profit job and continue to collect the citizens hard earned money as she makes another nice living off the business of racism.

  • Wade Clodfelter

    She has been a total waste of time and money. Her ridiculous salary. Her ridiculous Racism. Her ridiculous claims against hard working city employees. She was in a $ 25,000 position, making four times what the position should pay, and was not smart enough to shut her mouth and keep milking the city for a huge salary. She will never have such an easy high paying job again. She screwed up. My guess is the city will probably not keep her “position” available, because it was a waste to start with. The city needs to cut more “wasted” positions from the budget.

  • Jason Yates

    Your descriptions of Ms. Heggins are clear proof that none of you know her nor are you familiar with her work. She is well compensated because she is highly educated and is a subject matter experts in areas of human relations. I have known Al to work long hours and weekends, in fact I would wager that Ms. Heggins worked more weekends many months than many of her counterparts work in a year.
    You all ridicule that fact that she “was not smart enough to keep her mouth shut” and this is one of the many things I respect about her the most. It is called integrity and based upon your comments I’m guessing it is something unfamiliar to you all. Al could have done what too many in government do…shuffle paper and not make waves and ride out a cushy retirement. She has the courage of her convictions and risked her good-paying job to stand on her principles.
    I hate it for you, and for the rest of High Point, that you will not have the opportunity to know her and learn from her. I have and I’m better off for it.