Leland town council calls special meeting to discuss "personnel actions"

LELAND, NC (WWAY) -- Leland Town Councilwomen Brenda Bozeman and Patricia Batleman have called a special meeting of the council for Thursday evening to discuss "personnel actions." The meeting will start at 7 p.m. and is open to the public.

Town Councilwoman Martha Currie told us Friday she wanted a meeting called so she could propose hiring a private investigator to look into allegations of corruption and misconduct inside the Leland Police Department. She had hoped Mayor Walter Futch would call the meeting.

Currie told Mike Leggett of the Local News Review today that she wasn't aware that Bozeman and Batleman called the meeting. She says she found out about it when a StarNews reporter called her. Currie also told Leggett that Batleman refused to tell her what the meeting was about over the phone.

Talk of issues within LPD started after the town agreed to pay former officer Sherry Lewis $25,000 to settle an EEOC harassment claim. During a training exercise in February, Lewis says she was shot between the legs at least 12 times with simulation ammunition by another officer.

Since then we have done more investigating and exclusively reported that Chief Tim Jayne struck another officer during a bachelor party last year in Myrtle Beach. The chief also took his work vehicle to the party. We've also uncovered that Chief Jayne made officers do work on his and other neighbors' homes during work hours.

District Attorney Jon David alerted the Attorney General's office after seeing our stories, but recused himself from asking the SBI to investigate the police department because he and Chief Jayne are friends.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

Here are the questions the Leland Town Council should be asking... and the obvious answer to the dilemma: 1. "How did things at the Police Department get so out of hand without us knowing?"; 2. If we fire people from the PD... we will likely have even more lawsuits; ANSWER: Eliminate the Leland PD and contract with the Sheriff for police service.

To the Town of Leland Council Members, Mayor & Manager,

Before you start filling your open and soon to be open positions in the Town of Leland, you need to know that all of the employees who have been wrongfully terminated for reporting this corruption, you will have to reinstate them in their same position, same rate, same authority, double back pay, attorney fees, and any other damages they have incurred. Oh, and the good news is, this requires a trial by jury. Everyone's worried about their reputations, I can't wait!!!

So, Bill Farris, go ahead and ride out your retirement. You won't be sitting so pretty in the court room and the funny thing is, you won't be getting paid for it. I long for the day!!!

The comments about not worrying about how the employees are being treated are true but the Assistant Town Manager herself is culpable in a lot of the illegal activities dealing with personnel- all personnel, not just the police.

Does anyone really think she started attending Council meetings in the summer before the Assistant Town Manager Position was advertised because she cares about the citizens? No, it was for her own selfish motives-it was part of a deal. Look and see who was promoted and let go since the beginning of summer and forward. Look and see what was done to make this and other things happen. This is her quote from the Wilmington Star News Article Jan. 3, 2011. “I’ve been coming to town council meetings for the last three or four months, and I know the processes and hot topics,” she said. “I’m just ready to start things and be a part of everything.” Why would she come to meetings before she was offered the job? In this same article Bill Farris states “We were stretched pretty thin, which is why we needed her,” but there were a lot of people with nothing to do and some
fully qualified personnel were either stripped of their responsibilities or were “let go” for false reasons.

The Asistant Town Manager then participated in lies told to Council regarding budget issues and then participated in the discriminatory practice of terminating some while using the budget as an excuse to ensure that there was enough money to pay her salary and help her friends receive promotions and pay raises. See the Wilmington Star News Article 2/17/2011 Leland's town workers could see pay increase. In this article Mayor Walter Futch said,”icreasing pay is something the town definitely wants to do because it has invested time and money in its workers. “What about the workers who have invested time and money in the Town? How many positions were eliminated, How many employees were let go ? How many of these employees had given several years of service to the Town and what was their reward? All any one has to do is check all the news articles over the past couple of years, all the minutes and all the audios from Council-both open and closed sessions and you can see a pattern of deceit.

What about the welfare of the families of good decent employees who suffered because she and Council participated in these terminations and practices? Council can use the Town Manager as a scapegoat all they want but they knew what was going on, or at least some of them knew. Does the Council, the Town Manager and the Assistant Town Manager sleep at night knowing they took money and food away from families? She thinks she deserves her job , a job she lied about to get-not. She is just as guilty as those she and you (bye bye bad guys) are complaining about. She was perfectly fine allowing things to go on as long as she was getting paid with money she stole from others who actual earned and deserved it. What goes around always comes around and there is probably much more out there yet to be discovered. Now is the time to speak.

Wow Mayor Pro Tem Brenda Bozeman and Council member Pat Batleman, you're finally calling a special meeting. A meeting you should have called four months ago when the assistant town manager came to your home, future Mayor Brenda Bozeman and was later joined by Council member Pat Batleman. Didn't you tell her, "Oh no, the damage is already done, the FBI has been called, we need to call Walter (Mayor Futch) and have a special meeting." Pat Batleman, "The balls already rolling, it's an election year, this is horrible." Not, this is horrible because your employees are being assaulted and threatened on a daily basis. Not because the Chief of Police is stealing from taxpayers, everyday. Not because the Town Manager Bill Farris is too scared of some the guilty parties to do something. Pat Batleman and Brenda Bozeman are worried because now everyone knows, not for the welfare of the citizens they are voted in office to serve.

Well, you better speak the truth come Thursday, because you don't know if the meeting with the former assistant town manager was recorded. I suspect it was.

Good luck Thursday!

If the Assistant Town Manager has a case then she and others need to follow any legal channels necessary but airing out in this forum is not where it needs to be done however, if the Assistant Town Manager recorded this conversation without consent she has opened herself to criminal prosecution. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 15A-287: It is a Class H felony to intercept or disclose the contents of a wire, oral or electronic communication without the consent of at least one party to the communication, The statute defines wire communications to exclude the radio portion of a cordless telephone call that is transmitted between a cordless telephone handset and base unit. The last statement about Thursday sounds like a threat, is that really wise?

You see, The assistant town manager failed to understand, she wasn't hired because she was the most qualified or because she knew so much-she was hired because of what she didn't know. She also didn't get the fact that it was only a matter of time. After all, others who were more qualified than her were gotten rid of for years. You were a pawn, that's it, nothing more. You can't blame anyone but yourself, you bit the hands the fed you and the same exact ones that you trusted are the same ones that helped you get gone....and with all the dumb things you did since you arrived at Leland and in the Town of Burgaw you don't have a leg to stand on. It's hard to deal with....and that head sure must hurt from shrinking but me thinks you should just move on.

Oh, & by the way everyone knows that you know about the other illegal terminations (not just in the Police Dept) that have gone on over the last 4-5 years. Let's see............unfounded claims of drinking on the job, failure to perform and the ultimate for budgetary reasons are just some of the excuses used.And who were these for? You or the mayor? It doesn't really matter now does it because if you voted in any way for the "separation agreement/hopeful hush money then you are just as guilty. To those who signed the agreements you should know that they don't mean anything. According to the EEOC a claim can still go forward.Everyone needs to stand up and speak the truth.

I have been following this as closely as I am sure many others have. I may not agree with everything Jon David does, however, unless he has a crime reported to him, he has no jurisdiction over LPD and therefore no authority to call in the SBI. What WWAY has uncovered are serious accusations of improper use of the dept vehicle and training issues and others. Those are personnel issues that need to be addressed by the town board. Once a crime is established, I agree with everyone else, the SBI needs to be contacted. If I read one story correctly, WWAY has information of a crime that has not been disclosed yet. My question is, why is the information being withheld? Its not fair to the good officers at LPD nor the citizens of Leland to keep dragging this out in the media. Deal with the issues and move on. We can't blame Jon David for something he has no jurisdiction over.

And before the bashing starts, yes I am a cop but I do not work for Leland. Leland has the potential to be a top notch department but these issues need to be addressed so the department and the town can move forward.

Through the early morning mist just out of view a shadowy figure disappears into a single hue, like a thought a whisper, its essence gleamed of greatness, the steam rising from its mass showed only that the fire and compassion were not gone. It left only to spare those that had been punished by the dreariest of cowards, those who would not face their enemies yet harm those close to its heart. It spares not its achievements, but revels in the win that will come in its absence. The thought that its legacy will live on because the ghouls believe they had won victory. Yet it knows that no matter how faint the shadow is, questions of “why” would a warrior leave a battle it can win, these actions will linger in the minds of the wise that were chosen to look over the lambs.

The absence leaves a vacuum that cannot be filled with vile hidden stories of almost truths, because the actions beg for no answers. How do you defeat an enemy who knows your fate? An enemy who will gladly defy your plan by giving you what you want. You the demons are lost, all your venom directed towards the shadow will needs a new vein .The shadow knows as it passes into the mist you will turn the victory into defeat. Little were you aware as you cheered its leaving, it was the beginning of your doom and it would come at your own hand. More often this happens when you believe that your victim becomes less dangerous when forced to return into the mist. When the shadow can look back and say (I TOLD YOU SO) then these are the stories that evolve a shadow into a LIVING LEGEND.
In Memory of those soon to be exposed.
PS or Already Exposed through self inflicted wounds.

Everybody that is as stupid as I am and doesn't understand what this means.. please raise your hand.

they need to look into the corruption and harassment of the agency stopping people for stupid stuff and their attitudes with people. the lazy actions several cops sitting in a restaurant day after day when supposed to be on patrol. the city paying for gas for them to run errands in their cars and drive them home. why should tax money go on their personal pocket and wear and tear on the cars. there is alot more to this then just the chief and ex employees. the problem is the department ground up.

Since the locals or the state won’t take control or offer their actions based on the myriad of complaints levied at the Leland PD, I predict that the Leland Police Dept will end up with federal oversight of the US Dept of Justice. Hundreds of corrupt police agenices all over the country have traveled this path; mostly due to the lack of action by their local gvernmental leaders. I suggest that those who feel betrayed or injured in some way by the Leland PD contact the US Dept of Justice and follow their link to report "public corruption." These are the big boys. They will offer their assistance. Just google them and go to their Website.

LOL! This will shut them up! NOT! Hire a puppet that will do and say what ever you want. Sad thing about it? It will probably work....If Ben "ONE TERM" David was smart? <-----lol He would have brought in the SBI. His "friend" wasn't worth losing his job.....Or was it?

Isn't Jon David the Chief's neighbor? Has anyone asked the question "Was any of the work the officers were doing at neighbors homes done at Jon David's"? Just thinking out loud here.

That's a great point and question to ask!!!

This would make a lot of sense! Why else not get involved? Very good point of view. BRAVO!

Toby Keith has a song it's called "A Little Less Talk and A Lot More Action." The town of Leland needs to go to Itunes and purchase it. I will personally give them permission to raise my taxes .99 cents to cover the purchase.

Meetings are pointless. Talk is pointless. The town has yet to even officially announce what the problems are. So basically this meeting is set to announce another meeting that will turn into another meeting.

Pointless. Early termination for Mr. Farris, early termination for Chief Jayne and his staff. Call in the SBI and let them take over the investigation into the police department.

A little less talk, and lot more action is what the town of Leland needs right now. WWAY should do a poll. I would be curious to know what percentage of residents in Leland have faith and confidence in their police department right now?

I believe your answer would be scary. A town that doesn't have respectable law enforcement is a town on the verge of disaster. Town Council of Leland, wake up and smell the looming big time problems coming your way if you don't act quickly.

Since the training class that involved the shooting of simulation ammunition toward former Ofcr Sherry Lewis was done at Ft. Fisher, the last time I knew this was federal property. Does this not fall under the jurisdiction of the FBI? Now you have an assault with a weapon that occurred on federal property! Was the officer that was doing the shooting trained under federal guidelines to perform this type of training? Futhermore, was the officer a certified instructor under North Carolina Criminal Justice Training Standards? It sounds as if the answer to those two questions is going to be...NO. This ofcr was probably directed by his supervisor to purposely and maliciously shoot Ofcr. Lewis in the groin area because of the supvrs personal dislike toward Ofcr Lewis, while at the same time, the supvr was setting up the shooting ofcr to take the fall,
when and if there is any heads that will roll for this type of action. And by the way, heard about the ofcr who likes to have sex in his veh on the towns time and money and in the PD? Thats been going on for a looonnnngggg time. Stay tuned for more to come.........