Connect with us


Former Pekin city manager accused of mismanaging COVID-19-related federal funds in Texas



TX— Former Pekin City Manager Tony Carson was no stranger to job controversies during his relatively brief time in that position.

More controversy has led to his departure from the municipal job for which he left Pekin in mid-2018.

Following a lengthy executive session last week, the City Council in Forney, Texas, authorized creation of a separation agreement with Carson. Approval came about 11 p.m. April 6 in Forney, a city of about 27,000 residents located 25 miles east of Dallas.

According to a story on the website, Carson came under criticism for alleged mismanagement of federal funds the city received through the CARES Act for COVID-19-related relief.

Carson also was accused of harboring a toxic work environment that fostered fear of retaliation, the story stated. In March, Carson fired the Forney police chief after he filed a grievance that alleged a pattern of improper and hostile working conditions.

“The City of Forney has unlimited potential to continue to grow as a community,” Carson said in a statement posted on the city Facebook page. “I feel privileged that I was able to work with the excellent staff members of this City for the last two and a half years.”

In a story in February, reported city employees and local business owners accused Carson of censorship, cronyism in hiring practices, hypocritical decision making and condescending behavior.

“Since Mr. Carson has been Forney’s City Manager, we have seen citywide morale drop lower and lower,” a Forney firefighters union email stated.

“This waning confidence has caused many employees to seek opportunities elsewhere and attrition rates to plummet. Likewise, we are now garnering less interest from individuals who are interested in filling these vacancies.”

Carson did not comment to He stated he was unable to comment on personnel matters.

Legal counsel for the Pekin firefighters union sent a letter to Forney officials that detailed at least five complaints about Carson during his tenure in Tazewell County, reported.

Carson was hired in November 2016 in Pekin. He was hired in June 2018 in Forney.

Perhaps the most noteworthy conflict Carson had in Pekin came in March 2018, when city-employee records were disposed improperly into a dumpster. The records were exposed to the public anywhere between three and six hours before they were secured.

An investigation revealed no sensitive information was compromised, according to Carson.

“This incident was a serious breach of established protocols, and we have taken appropriate steps to ensure it will not occur in the future,” he said at the time.

In its Forney letter, the Pekin firefighters union said employment of some of its members was threatened when they confronted Carson about the problem.

“I’m saddened to see that Mr. Carson’s tactics that he portrayed in Pekin unfortunately became an issue for the good people in Forney,” Tom Veatch, president of the Pekin union, said in a statement issued Saturday to the Journal Star.

Veatch also confirmed the Pekin union sent Forney officials the letter of complaint regarding Carson.

“We’re glad to see them able to move forward,” Veatch stated. “We’ve continued to have a great professional relationship with the City of Pekin following the departure of Mr. Carson.”

Carson had been under a Forney contract that paid him $167,500 annually, according to He is to receive severance as part of the separation agreement.

Prior to accepting the job in Pekin, Carson had worked for municipalities in Delaware, Ohio and Maryland. When he came to Pekin, Carson signed a three-year contract with an annual salary of $140,000.