According to the Texas Tribune, Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp, a college friend and former political rival of GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry, said that Kimbrough’s position was no longer necessary.
Kimbrough, who served as interim chancellor until Sharp’s appointment a couple of weeks ago, said that his dismissal came as a surprise.
He told the Texas Tribune that he was called into the office of Ray Bonilla, the system’s general counsel, and Scott Kelly, the deputy general counsel, to discuss his termination when he said in jest that he always carries a knife.
Kimbrough confirmed in an email that it was a joke and he never imagined it would be portrayed this way. About an hour later, university police arrived and told Kimbrough to leave.
Kimbrough told the Tribune that it’s not unusual for security to be called in when someone is terminated involuntarily, and that he didn’t think it had to do with the knife. “Sure I displayed it, yes,” he said. “But I do that 20 times a week. I do it when someone needs to cut a watermelon.” He said he did not threaten anyone: “Absolutely not.”
“Jay Kimbrough is a decorated war veteran who has given his life to public service,” Perry spokeswoman Allison Castle said. “The governor has the utmost respect for and confidence in both Jay and John Sharp.... This is a personnel matter with the A&M system.”