James Lyons, Durham’s solid waste director, fired after NC Newsline investigation

By: - May 30, 2023 7:07 pm

James Lyons, new director of solid waste at the City of Durham (Photo from Lyons’ 2015 mayoral campaign)

James Lyons, who started as Durham’s solid waste director just three weeks ago, has been fired, effectively immediately, after an NC Newsline investigation into his work history.

In an email sent at 6:56 p.m. Tuesday, City Manager Wanda Page announced Lyons’s termination.

As NC Newsline reported earlier Tuesday, the City paid a national search firm PoliHire $25,000 to recruit qualified candidates for the solid waste director position. Page said in the press release that PoliHire “has confirmed that their process, which included screening of candidates for minimum requirements, did not happen as contracted.”

In his resumé, on which the City based its hiring announcement on April 27, Lyons claimed to have worked for the City of High Point as its Solid Waste Collections Superintendent since 2015. However, the City of High Point told NC Newsline that Lyons was employed in that position only from January 2022 to April 2023, roughly 15 months. And Lyons’s own LinkedIn page, since deactivated, listed his job with High Point as lasting from 2020 to 2023, which was also untrue.

Lyons ran for Durham mayor in 2015. He lost in the November election to incumbent Bill Bell.


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Lisa Sorg
Lisa Sorg

Assistant Editor and Environmental Reporter Lisa Sorg helps manage newsroom operations while covering the environment, climate change, agriculture and energy.