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LELAND, NC (WWAY) — For month’s we’ve been looking at issues in Leland, especially with the town’s police department. Among the biggest was something that happened last winter. Ofc. Sherry Lewis says she was shot in the crotch multiple times by her fellow officers with simulation ammunition in a training exercise. Since then, Lewis and the town of Leland reached a $25,000 settlement, but no one was ever disciplined for shooting her.

It’s a story that sounds eerily similar to an incident involving the East Spencer Fire Department. The town’s chief and his assistant are out after investigators say they used a Taser to repeatedly shock an 18-year-old junior firefighter at a Christmas party.

Part-time Chief Shane Cranfield was fired and Assistant Chief and volunteer firefighter Allen Carlyle have been charged with misdemeanor assault.

Town Administrator Macon Sammons’s letter dismissing Cranfield says one of the main reasons he made the decision is because the incident embarrassed the community.

“It was totally and entirely inappropriate and uncalled for,” Sammons said. “It should never have happened, and it forced our hand. We had to act.”

As questions about the handling of the Lewis situation continue to swirl in Leland, the town’s new mayor is opening her doors to the public. It’s a chance for residents to have their voices heard on any number of issues.

“I’ve always told everyone any time you want to talk, come to me,” Mayor Brenda Bozeman said.

Bozeman inherited a town plagued by issues within its police department. Among the problems are the allegations involving Lewis, reports Police Chief Tim Jayne punched an officer during a Myrtle Beach bachelor party and claims an officer pulled a gun on another officer.

Now Bozeman is opening her doors to the public on Tuesdays and Thursdays knowing many will want to talk about Leland PD.

“I do expect it,” Bozeman said. “I’ve had e-mails saying that they wanted to talk to me about it, and that’s fine. Of course, there’s not a whole lot I can tell them until the SBI agent gets through with his case.”

Town residents say that the open door is a step in the right direction.

“I think it’s a very good thing. I think people have got to be able to voice their opinions,” Leland resident Joan Pannullo said. “We’ve been shut out. They close all theses sessions, and I think it’s wrong.”

The biggest difference between the incidents in Leland and East Spencer is that little to nothing has been done about the allegations in Leland.

“They’re saying they have the proof here,” Bozeman said of East Spencer. “What we have, we have different stories from different officers, and that was one other reason for calling in the SBI. We’ve got to find out the truth, and hopefully they can see who’s telling the truth and who’s not.”

Unlike in East Spencer, there has not been any disciplinary action taken yet in Leland. Bozeman says despite not having any answers the alleged incidents have already done their fair share of damage to the town.

“I don’t like it no more than anyone else does, but you hear a lot of ‘You need to fire, you need to fire.” Well, you can’t fire on accusations, you’ve got to have proof,” Bozeman said.

Bozeman will hold open office hours Tuesdays from 1 to 5 p.m. and Thursdays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Residents can also make an appointment to see her.

Comment on this Story

  • Kevin Henry

    On Oct 4th, 2012 I was stopped driving an old uhaul truck by Leland City Police. The tag was being covered by a hand truck that I had strapped to the rear bumper. After Officer Long took my paperwork and license, he said that my license was suspended. That part I have no problem with. He wrote me a ticket and that was over.

    While Officer Long had me pulled over, Officer Spence and another Leland City Police Officer, two Brunswick County K9 Units, and a Brunswick County Sheriff arrived. Deputy Brian Carlisle with the K9 unit looked at me and said “Do you remember me?” The last time we met, he held me on the side of the road for hours searching the same truck. He had not found anything that day and I tried telling him they would get the same result this time.

    They asked to search the truck. I said I would rather they not. They informed me they were going to search the truck with the dog. They put me and my friends in handcuffs and in the back of separate police cars. They moved the 24ft moving truck to Lowes food parking lot and began unloading it. The last time Deputy Carlisle searched the truck there were less things in the truck and they were able to rummage through without unloading it.

    They told us we were all going to jail. They kept us in the rear of a police cars handcuffed until we all had to beg to use the bathroom. They broke multiple items and treated everything in the back of the truck like trash. While we were there a few men in nice shirts and neck ties came to look and then leave. The search turned up nothing in the back of the truck. They put everything back in the truck as quickly as they could. They even strapped the hand truck back on the bumper. They said they found a piece of a marijuana cigar in a soda can under the seat in the cab of the truck. They told us we were on their list now and this would happen again. Officer Long wrote me a ticket and they all left.

    Everything in the back of the moving truck was stepped on, tossed about, and broken. The lady we were helping was crushed. She was mad at us in disbelief that the police would do such a thing.

    It took 6 police almost 5 hours to write 2 tickets. This is the second time Brunswick County Sheriffs K9 Unit has searched and found nothing but trash. How much time and money was spent writing a ticket. Do you think that it was proper allocation of taxpayer funds?

    The next day I straightened out my license.

    I called and sent emails to anyone I thought might be able to help. I called the Chief of Police, City Manager and Mayor of Leland to complain. They all returned my phone call and urged me to make an appointment. I was worried to meet with the Police Chief but when the Mayor called I believed that she might truly care about corruption in her city.

    I went to Leland Town Hall to meet with the Mayor, Town Manager and Police Chief on Oct 9th 2012. We sat down and went over my complaint. We watched the video from the stop in which I was complaining. The video had no clear view of the officers while in the back of the truck. They had no video from the beginning of the rear compartment search.

    After our meeting I was introduced to the Internal Affairs Officer and I filed a formal complaint against Officer Long and Officer Spence. The IA officer kept correcting me on Officer Long’s and Spence’s correct title and rank. He seemed less than interested on what I had to say and only wrote down a portion of what I had said. After he had filled out the complaint papers we had it notarized and I was on my way. I went outside, got in my truck and left.

    Before I made it to the end of the block three or four Leland City Police were behind me. The Chief, Officer Long, and the Internal Affairs Officer all included. They pulled me over. They had smiled and listened while I complained about Officer Long. All the while knowing he was around the block waiting for me.

    They informed me that my license was still suspended and ask me to get out of the truck. I produced the paperwork from SCDMV to prove my license was valid. I refused to exit the truck. They held me for about 30 minutes trying to decide what to do. Luckily, this time they let me go.

    I have since left a message for the Mayor with no response.

    Do the Officials at Leland actually care about the concerns of citizens, or are they just seeking revenge on those who complain.

    Kevin Bourne
    Free and Proud Carolina Citizen
    “Give me liberty, or give me death” Patrick Henry 1775

  • Guest28451

    She refused to stand up and demand accountability as Mayor Pro Tem while Futch was heading out the door and had already been elected to take over. She has a duty to the people of Leland yet she continues to shirk her responsibility. Any excuse in the world for her to fail to act. Just like the town manager the impotent wonders of Leland (Mayor, Manager and Town Council). We all know the truth Jayne is the Boss Hogg of Leland end of story.

  • enoughalready20

    Yes and we know who you are and boom boom and k blue and most of the quest people also, Ain’t that a shame!!!!!

  • Old Guy

    Come on Bozeman! Sherry called you first from the very site and training that she was shot at. You have seen the pictures of the open wounds! You talked to her first! What more do you need as proof? I don’t seem to understand that you inherited these problems when YOU were a part of them to begin with! Quit lying to “your people”! You should be ashamed of yourself! All of the officers that told the truth are now gone and YOU didn’t listen. You are waiting for the SBI to do the job you should have done to begin with! REALLY?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  • Guest9999

    You people are idiots, you say she saw the pictures like you said she sold houses to people that I know had they same real eatate agent that I had!!!! Wished I had used her cause she cares about her customers not just a check. Have you asked has she seen the pictures or are you all are assuming, If you knew her like the people she grew up with you would know she does what is right and will do what the law says she is suppose to do and how. The ones of you that is putting her down need to check your facts,,,,,, oh you must have a beef cause you have done something stupid and didn’t get by with it. ASK HER she is not a liar. She will tell you what she knows and what she doesn’t that the law says she can. I asked her about Lewis and she was repectful of Lewis and that she hoped that if it’s true and that It is shown that Lewis was targetted that she wanted the person to pay. Why can’t you people wait for the results instead of taking the word of the town drunk and an embezzeler. Get your facts!!!!!! Oh and put the blame where it was on the old wimpy town manager.

  • Guesttoo

    Yet another article about the allegations against the Town of Leland and LPD and still nothing about the former Assistant Town manager.

    Why is that?

  • Boom Boom

    here is more information, available on the Towns website

    1. Ms Cox was hired via a hiring team, Farris, Jayne, Strickland and others.
    2. They liked what they saw so they hired her.
    3. She was asked or codered to do an investigation
    4. she surprised them by actually being honest.
    5. they then used the fact that she had all kinds of issues and legal problems aginst her.
    6. So either they are incompetant as managers and have no basic concept, of how to properly conduct interviews and applicant selections, or they intentionally thought they were getting one of thier own.
    7. So here is how it works, either you are incompetant and hired a total nut case, who has turned the town upside down,

    8. Or you hired what you thought was a status quo for your group and they turned honest on you and exposed you for what you are “corrupt”, in which case all of you should be fired

    So heres the rest, she is a bad seed you hired her you should be fired for all that she has caused, or you are a bad seed who have played your shes’ corrupt card having been holding it since you hired her.

    So for you and ENOUGHALREADY which is it?
    1. Did they hire someone who was corrupt, or are they guilty of covering up thier own actions. Im kinda leaning towards lets hire her we can control her with the information we have and if she exposes us we can plead well you know what we are (STUPID)????

    Any way you shape it, you are responsible.

  • Guest6789

    Well, I don’t think anybody expected Mayor Bozeman to do anything earth-shattering in addressing the problems at Leland. She has sat on the sidelines, waiting her turn as the pre-determined mayor, trying not to rock the boat and, now, trying not to sink it. How can the citizens of Leland believe she will do anything about the corruption in the police department and problems in town hall by someone who has openly blamed the media for “creating” these problems and on individuals she claims have personal vendettas? (actually, they found the problems and made her aware of them, only to be retaliated by her – HOW DARE THEY!!) It is a shame, since Leland had so much promise, to see it slide backwards to the “good ole boy” system of protecting their own, throwing up the walls and trying to keep “them damn outsiders” from changing the way its always been – this time, change needed for the better!! Take a stance, shug, and actually make a difference and fix Leland!!

  • Peyton Garrett

    I will say, We Have Brian Berger in New Hanover, You have a mess in Leland. I have no dog in this fight but I am tired of people posting about the “Good Ole Boy” system. That system in a lot of cases now is called networking, coming to a consensus, getting something done. Good Ole Boys historically, have employed most of the faction of small business. Where I grew up that meant farm hands, carpenters, mechanics, and the blue collar meat and potatoes man. My Dad was a Good Ole Boy who happened to migrate here after WWII. As a Young Man I saw Politics first hand Under a shed by a tobacco barn. I have seen deals made, not for money, but for the benefit of our community. Good Ole Boys have fought and died for this country. I Myself am a Good Ole Boy, or will try to be. To insinuate A”Good Ole Boy” is crooked or corrupt is an insult to several good people. To say there are racial overtones or make it that way is offensive to Me and the lot of good people who would call themselves a “Good Ole Boy” Black, White or whatever.

  • Sadie Godfrey

    She has just barely stepped into office and everyone wants everything fixed right now. She is limited as to what she can do until the SBI completes their investigation. If things are going to be done right its going to take time. I have faith that Ms Bozeman will do everything she can to make Leland a place we will all be proud to call home. After all this is Ms. Bozeman’s home too. Don’t be so quick to criticize. If YOU think you can do better and faster why didn’t YOU run for office?

  • PublicAvenger

    In less then a year, when over 1/4 of your officers have been fired, or forced to resign, something tells me the corruption is coming from the top, and not the ones on the ground.

  • Guest native

    DUH!!! Just maybe they weren’t doing the job they were hired to do or DUH!!!! they did something to cause them to be fired or resigned. Have you ever talked to someone that was fired and they told you the truth about why they were fired. here you people are passing judgement on Ms Boseman cause she is going about her job the right way.
    Sadie you are right it is her home too and I beleive in her. She has always stood up for Leland even years ago when people laughed at it. So leave her alone. The SBI will tell her what to do and when!!!!!!

  • Boom Boom

    Hire the Legend as the New AM he will quickly take care of your issues, Mayor.

    It is true there is a good available manager who has the intestinal fortitude to sweep the town clean of bottom dwellers.

    The legend brings fear to the other directors, and bad employees.

    Truely an acomplished manager and proven leader. I would provide his name, but, think long and hard Mayor, who has proven themselves capable of running a truely proffesional department, who has stood up and defended employees when upper management was unfair. who developed and implemented programs with productive outcome and accurate measures.

    Hire the Legend get out of his way, and let him serve the people he protected once again.

  • Getsome

    I was astounded that I heard these comments from a woman. “half the officers said one thing half said another”. Who cares what any said. Just looking at the bare facts, “Lewis shot in the crotch 12 times and required medical care”. No male officer shot in the crotch, no male officer required medical care. I can not believe I heard this from another woman. As a woman I would think she might be alittle more sensitive to the situation. So is she dumb, simple, or got some other reason to go down this ridiculous path? Let me guess, she sold the cheif his house? DA David his house, Mr. I will by pass the courts to make my own system, then refuse to do my job as the senior law officer of my county. If it was not such a unjustice to the citzens it would be funny. That town hall is goofier than the tv show the Office. Bozeman, please tell me you are just inept and not stupid or blind to complete harrasment and abuse by your police department.

  • GuestNancy

    Excuse me Ms Getsome, have you seen pictures, have you asked about others being shot. Well sounds like the mayor is smart to let the SBI (someone with no ties) find the truth. Only one or two people have said they saw pictures (which one was a male friend hmmm, looking at her crotch, hmmmmmm)If they exist why hasn’t they been published like everything else???????If you don’t know the mayor go in and meet her before you talk trash about her. Ask her if she sold the houses you talk of, I asked and she told me so do your homework before you let your fingers do the walking (talking)

  • Leland Fan

    The fix Leland site has information about Mayors real estate deals.
    These guys seem sincere in changing things.


    Without WWAY and these guys on this site, who knows what the town would be doing. Keep up the good work WWAY.

    As a viewer some questions I have is what is the status of the SBI Investigation. Is there really an FBI Investigation?

    We keep hearing tales that David knew about problems and did nothing. He says he knew nothing. Is this true?

  • excouncil

    It’s evident you don’t know this woman…She is the ONE !!!!!! No one has ever cared about Leland like her. You know there is other businesss the town has except the Polie Dept. and she is working hard. I went to see her about a problem I gad andwithin 10 minutes she had the answer. Never has a Mayor workedfor their people like she has in her short time. You must never have been to a meeeting to see how she fights for Leland as awhole. She is a awesome real estate ageny and even more Mayor and my family has been here forever and we know who has the best interest fro our town..Keep it up Brenda, we love you

  • Get some

    again, you are missing the blatant facts, come on, is this entire area willing to over look the fact that during a training excersise of (professionals), the only woman in the training was shot 12 times in the crotch, no one else, by the same officer, a SGT. Get past my sense of humor and put your thinking cap on. Will she ask someone else to do her budgets, ask for guidance on everything? Or will she be the Mayor. leadership is the ability to look past friendship, associations and do what is the right thing, leading means being out front, not in the crowd. Character is what you have when no one is looking, so far there has been no character or leadership in this entire county, town or PD. You gotta see that, come on,, really, you really belive that was just a mire accident?

  • enoughalready20

    Is that you tim???????????

  • Boom Boom

    Why Darling, you have completely missed the boat. Can we assume that this “Tim” who ever he may be has some reason to be disgruntled or targeted???

    You intrique me with this name although very common, are you asking if this “TIM” is the Legend? Or are you asking if this “TIM” is BOOM BOOM?.

    Im a Tax paying citizen, but im Sure who ever “TIM” is, is scared!!!

    Tim they have targeted you please watch your Back whatever you have done ENOUGHALREADY is waiting to expose you for something.

    So enoughalready with trying to intimidate people you dont know who we are,but we know who you are.


  • enoughalready20

    Some of you people are sick!!!!!!!!!!

  • Getsome

    does not say much about the school system here. Nothing is more important by your local governement then your police department and services. Fair honest and living to a higher standard then they enforce. Bozman and the manager in over their heads, yes maybe nice people but not competant to do their jobs.

  • Guesttoo

    Thank you for taking the time to not answer my (very) simple question. I was really hoping that a legit news person would answer. Your number 4 and number 5 have a really, really tough time working together. You ask; “Which is it?” and it’s only fair that you are asked the same question. If she had (in your words) all kinds of “issues and legal problems against her” (#5)…how could she have been hired (#4)?

    Which one is it, 4 or 5?

    No clue who this person (Cox? Grant?) is, other what has been reported (lightly) in this…and (more extensively) other media outlets.

    From another media outlet, this person’s history just sounds fishy. Entirely possible that a “smear campaign” has been launched against her but, either way, it sounds like an integral part of the Leland story and it’s not being addressed by WWAY.

    So, the un-answered question remains the same.


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