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FIRST ON 3: Fair Bluff worker told police, mayor different stories about crash

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FAIR BLUFF, NC (WWAY) -- The twists keep coming in the story of a Fair Bluff town employee who wrecked a town-owned car. Today we learned a different version of the story from Fair Bluff's mayor.

Mayor Randy Britt says Billie Johnson is a good employee, and one he has never known to have a drinking problem. Britt says the long-time worker deserves a second chance despite inconsistencies in his story.

"It is highly questionable what he was doing out there on 1:30 on Saturday morning," Britt said of Johnson flipping the town's car into a ditch January 26.

Johnson blew a 0.08 blood alcohol level eight hours after the wreck. According to a police report, he admitted to drinking before crashing the car and that he was heading home when it happened, but he told police he did not drink between the crash and taking an alcohol breath test.

Mayor Randy Britt said Johnson told him he was on his way to a pump station when he wrecked. The mayor said it would be a violation of town policy to have been drinking then be on the job, but he says Johnson told him a different story about when he drank beer.

"The story that he told me, and of course maybe he changed the story... I'm not sure... was that he had two (beers) that morning before he went back down to the town hall (for the breath test)," Britt said.

Johnson is still employed by Fair Bluff, even after we learned Thursday there'd be another incident involving alcohol with the same car he wrecked. The other was back in late October, when a Fair Bluff Police officer saw an opened beer can in the cup holder of the car.

Britt could not say if Johnson had the car that day.

"Until other facts come out that would necessitate us terminating him, we felt like we should give him a second chance," Britt said.

Britt says Johnson has been a town employee for about 15 years. He is the assistant to his brother, the head of town maintenance.

"He has been a good employee," Britt said.

Britt says the town held an emergency meeting to discuss the situation.

"He has been reprimanded," the mayor said. "If anything close to this were to happen again, there would be serious consequences."

Mayor Britt said the beer can found in October could have been trash Johnson or another worker picked up on their work around town.

Britt says he is unsure yet whether Johnson will be given another car, but he said he is eligible to drive town-owned vehicles.

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