KURE BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- A Kure Beach Town Commissioner has been charged with multiple narcotics charges, according to Kure Beach Police.
A Kure Beach police report says 64-year-old commissioner Barry Nelder had almost one gram of marijuana on him when an officer arrested him around 8 a.m. at Raleigh Avenue and Lake Park in Carolina Beach. He was also charged with posession of drug paraphernalia.
Mayor Dean Lambeth says Nelder is in his first term as a town commissioner and filed last month to run for re-election.
“Why in the world,” said Lambeth. “64 years old, why would you do something like that? it's a little distressing, because all of us took an oath to uphold the laws in North Carolina. No elected official in the state of North Carolina should be above the law.”
Kure Beach residents say it's ridiculous that an elected official would be involved in something like this at his age.
“A representative of the community should be upstanding and not a law breaker,” said Bill Bryan, a Kure Beach resident. "I am very surprised because Barry, who I’ve talked to several times and always respected his positions, but doing something this childish is uncalled for.”
“To me I think as you grow up, you put up childish things,” said Hugh Cannon, another resident of Kure Beach. “We should know better by that time. I’m 77 and I’ve never engaged in any of that.”
WWAY went to Nelder's house to see if he wanted to give his side of the story. He was in the residence but did not come to the door.
Mayor Lambeth says he spoke to Nelder after the arrest. He says Nelder apologized and wanted the other commissioners to be aware of his mistake.
“He has some explaining to do, especially to the citizens of Kure Beach,” said Lambeth.
Lambeth says the other commissioners will discuss what to do about the situation during a closed session at their next meeting on August 16th.