LELAND, NC (WWAY) — During a meeting Thursday night, the Leland Town Council announced that Police Chief Tim Jayne has been on probation for months.
During the meeting, leaders revealed that on September 15 Jayne received a written reprimand and was ordered to pay restitution for use of a town-owned vehicle. He was also placed on six months probation “for management actions inconsistent with Town of Leland personnel policies and professional management standards,” according to our news partners at the Local News Review.
Jayne was also ordered to adhere to the personnel policy in the future and develop an action plan.
Town Council allowed Town Manager David Hollis to release the personnel matter citing North Carolina General Statute § 162A-6.1 (7), which allows the release of such information if it means maintaining public confidence in a public agency. It’s the same statute WWAY has been encouraging the town to use for months to answer questions about a number of issues within the police department.
Jayne was placed on probation the same day as a Town Council meeting during which the town agreed to a settlement with Ofc. Sherry Lewis, who was shot in the crotch several times during a training exercise last spring. After that meeting, then-Town Manager Bill Farris said he didn’t know that anyone had been shot and then-Mayor Walter Futch admitted he was “out of touch.”
In the weeks and months since, Leland town leaders have refused to talk publicly about significant questions regarding their police department. Allegations included Jayne using his town-owned vehicle for personal trips, including to a bachelor party in Myrtle Beach, where he reportedly punched one of his officers; reports of an officer pointing a gun at a fellow officer; reports of officers having sex at the police department on duty.
In October, Town Council directed Jayne to send a letter to the SBI requesting an investigation of any allegations of criminal activity within the police department and improper release of personnel information. Mayor Brenda Bozeman, who took office last month after having served on the Town Council, has repeatedly said she would wait for the results of that investigation before making any judgments.
Jayne has called media reports about the issues within his department a “witch hunt” and claimed former Assistant Town Manager Michelle Cox, who recommended Jayne be fired for misconduct, was personally trying to destroy him. There have also been reports that Jayne has forced officers to take lie detector tests as he tries to find the source of leaked information. Hollis told WWAY no one has been “forced” to take the tests. Meanwhile, several officers have been fired from the department in the last couple of months.