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FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: BSL fires police chief for ordering officer to drive son to work

READ MORE: FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: BSL fires police chief for ordering officer to drive son to work

BOILING SPRING LAKES, NC (WWAY) -- After a two-week investigation into alleged abuse of power, Boiling Spring Lakes told its police chief to turn in his badge today.

As WWAY reported FIRST ON 3, Ballree was suspended with pay last month as City Manager Jeff Repp began investigating an allegation Ballree abused his power as chief. Repp said at the time the allegation was separate from an SBI investigation into Ballree launched earlier this year. The SBI says its investigation is in its final stage.

This morning City Manager Jeff Repp met with Emmett Ballree and decided it was best to move in another direction.

"Based on that investigation and the information that I was able to acquire in these interviews with the officers, it was decided to separate our ties with the chief and move in a different direction," Repp said.

Officially the city fired Ballree for abusing his position of power by ordering an on-duty police officer to pick up his son and drive him to work in Southport. It's an act that could be considered a misappropriation of city resources.

"From the Chief of Police it was just not the best of judgement to be used, and if this would have been another officer or if it had been an isolated incident, maybe I would have taken another course of action, but this is the Chief of Police," Repp said.

Ballree would not talk on camera, but by phone he said he accepts the reality of his firing. He was fired over a disagreement over the direction of the police department.

"We have a very good crop of officers in the police department, and I think they sincerely want to do a good job for the citizens of BSL," Repp said, "and I think they will under a good chief be able to exhibit that professionalism that they want from the department."

Ballree also told us he does not plan to appeal his firing and is looking into careers outside of law enforcement.

Repp said Lt. Richard Spenser will continue as acting chief during the search process for the new police chief.

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.


illegal searches by police during election months

I am more concerned about the DA and his intimidation tactics and illegal searches of political campaign volunteers; than a guy driving his kid to school, if he is on-duty 24 hours a day as Chief.

Driving your "kid to school"

Driving your "kid to school" or using town property as your own personal vehicle is a lawsuit waiting to happen. The liability is far to much to risk in case of an accident or having to repond to a call just to risky. The tax payers are not responsible for pickig up the tab for unauthorized use of town property. This town has a rich history of corruption, town employees using town property and facility's for their own personal use. Thousands of dollars of tax payers money has been wasted for many years. More roads could have been paved for the amount of waste that has gone on. I have seen it first hand. It's time to STOP THE ABUSE!

His kid is 27 years old!

If you had really read the article of listened to the news you would know this had nothing at all to do with Ballree getting "his kid to school". The son he was taking to work and back and then having another officer drive back and forth is not a kid. The son is about 27 years old and does not have an operators permit. BTW, there is no mention of him running his ADULT daughter up and down the road to Shallotte but that was a regular going on too. Well then also there are the regular trips for his son to visti his PO in Southport. And to suggest he was working 24 hours a day is indeed hilariously....STUPID!

No one held a gun to the head of Ballree and made him use a city car and city fuel for personal reasons. He is in his 50's and it was his choice alone. But of course, this is not the first go around for Ballree. Seems he had the same bad habits when he was in Mount Olive. They ran his butt off also!

But there is going to be you few that will try to blame anybody at anytime ignoring the truth and supporting a lie. Fortunately, you just won't have that many believers. It will be far less once the SBI report comes in.

You citizens

You citizens with this we as taxpapyers deserve the right to know, did you read the article? The man has been dismissed from his duties as police chief. Certain things are protected by NC General Statues. Let city officials do their jobs and quit whining.


Ok. I love NC statues. Statutes are awesome too. Right up there with you and City / Government officials. They are never wrong and always eager to help me. Now, "you citizens" (Think; 2nd class,) don't get in the way of City officials or "fellow cop". Fellow cop thinks higher of himself than he thinks of others.


have the right to know when a scumbag cop does not due his job or breaks the law. Hopefully with all these cops being fired or caught not doing their job the public is waking up and seeing what lowlife scumbags they really are. I would trust a crook anyday over a friggin cop.

OMG. Where do I begin? Wow!

OMG. Where do I begin? Wow! You sure are something! Curtis Ledbetter was let go for doing his job and you no doubt stood behind THAT decision! Now you say they are scumbags for NOT doing their job!!!!
Well, you said, "I would trust a crook any day over a f...... Cop". Put your name right out there and I'm sure if the day comes you are being mugged, tortured, shot at, etc., they would be happy to send a CROOK to save your a..!!
I always have heard the expression, "birds of a feather............". Maybe you are a crook! Without your name, we don't know....but you can be assured, we feel our guess is right on!!!!!

Your are missing the mark

You are only right with your point about the 'general statutes' but, you miss the point by a mile. They are the taxpayers. The city would not exist without them and yes, they deserve to know all that can be told and frankly, there is more that can be told. The citizens are not whining at all. They are exasperated at the system and they have cause to be. They have been paying a police chief for several years to use the city car and gas as if it were his family car. Heck, for all purposes, he made it that way. You must be one of those flaming liberals that believes the government at all levels is best and they know how to spend taxpayer money the best. This cat has been screwing the city out of dollars, one gas tank after another to go to the store, take kids to their PAROLE OFFICER, etc, etc, etc. And then he has the nerve to say to the State Port Pilot, "...he was still in a state of shock, adding that he was disappointed by the level of punishment." Further he stated, "“There was an option from everything from verbal warning up to termination, and it seemed like they went right straight to the termination."

Well what in the wide world of sports would he expect! He had been abusing city funds via his city vehicle from the day he got here. Just exactly like he did in Mount Olive, by the way. And even though the sorry excuse for a city manager, David Lewis allowed him to get by with it the policy is clear and a new manager is in town. Then not only does he abuse policy using his vehicle for personal use but then he puts an officer in an ethical dilemma requiring him to do the same. Ballree is surprised??? Just what does he think warrants discharge if not that? And if he does not understand the concept of misusing city funds for personal use and requiring an employee to do the same, he should have never been allowed to wear a badge in the first place. Certainly he should have never been invited to our fair city.

So yes, I guess some citizens are whining. They are whining for their lost funds that could have been kept in their pockets or given some real service to them via the city. After all, it is in fact THEIR FUNDS!

So what say you? Are you just a liberal that believes government knows best or are you another blind follower of Lewis, and Kinney that will state what a "fine person and civil servant Ballree is"? If you are the latter beware, when the SBI investigation is completed, you are going to have a real hard time explaining your support of the crumb. Can you spell I-N-D-I-C-T-M-E-N-T?

Thank God we cut our losses from the past!

If this is truly a tax payer issue...thank God we don't have our last Chief. I do believe we had several police cars tore up with civilian passengers in the car. And the expense of taking children of the secretary to and from school...and there was the one couple that got hauled around to buy groceries and lottery tickets by the Police Dept. So I thought we were doing a lot better with Chief Ballree, I guess I don't understand why the playing field changed.

you are all two faced and will pay

thank you for this reply you are so right but the law only stands for ppl the lawwants to get rid of not their pokerbuddies and off time social drinking buddies

Thanks for the parting shot,

Thanks for the parting shot, Emmett........Maybe you can find a job in SC.