WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — There has been a cloud of allegations surrounding the town of Leland’s police department for quite some time now. Two of the most recent include officers using the police station for sexual liaisons and an incident where one officer pointed a gun at another. The town has asked the SBI to help investigate the allegations.
Although some of those allegations were brought up at tonight’s Leland Town Council meeting they were not the only point of interest. The meeting started with a few fireworks with the hiring of a new town manager.
Councilman Herbert Barnes says the way which the hiring happened was wrong. He says after the finalists for the job had been agreed upon by council, a few more candidates were brought in.
“The final person that was called in is the one that got the job,” said Barnes. “I have no problem with him, it’s the process.”
Regardless, David Hollis will be the new manager and will inherit the potential issues with the police department.
“We elected you as citizens to represent us as citizens to take care of the issues,” Leland resident Nicholas Spencer told council members during the public comment portion of the meeting. “As I see it, the greatest issue plaguing the Town of Leland at this time is our inability to have pride and honor in our community, because of all the clouds hanging over us.”
Following the public comments, Councilwoman Martha Currie made a motion to bring in an internal affairs investigator form the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office to get another set of eyes to investigate the allegations within the police department.
“I feel like it’s the only way we are going to get to the truth,” Currie said. “If the SBI can investigate, they investigate the criminal part then get this internal affairs man to come in and let him investigate anything else that may have occurred.”
That idea was supported by Councilman Barnes but all three other council members voted it down. Councilwoman Brenda Bozeman told WWAY that she wants to see what the SBI investigation uncovers first, then take any other steps if necessary.
When we tried to ask Mayor Walter Futch about the situation he refused to answer any questions saying it’s not his job to deal with personnel.