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FIRST ON 3: Bald Head Island public safety chief suspended

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BALD HEAD ISLAND, NC (WWAY) -- Bald Head Island has suspended its public safety chief with pay pending an internal investigation.

A town spokeswoman says Jerome Munna was placed on administrative leave today. She would not discuss the nature of the investigation.

When reached by phone this afternoon, Munna said he was not exactly sure why he'd been placed on leave.

"They haven't said anything, and I can't say anything," Munna said.

Munna becomes the third police chief in Brunswick County to find himself under investigation this year. Leland fired Tim Jayne in February. Boiling Spring Lakes fired Emmett Ballree this week for abuse of power after a two-week investigation.

In Columbus County, Fair Bluff fired Police Chief Marty Lewis in May after he was arrested on drug charges.

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.

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Thank You- Chip Munna

Chip Munna stopped on the side of the road late Christmas Night to help a young 24 year old woman ( my daughter ) who experienced car problems and was helpless under the circumstances. I was on the phone to her as he came along and stayed by her side until help could arrive. I was so thankful at the time because face it none of us want to go through the fearful moments when one of our children are stranded and we are too far away to help them. During these moments we hear the fear in our child's voice and know that tears are silently falling down their cheeks, and we are frightened for them.

Chip did the right thing and protected the child while waiting for help. I believe God had a hand in sending Chip, because I sent prayers of protection as she left Myrtle Beach for Wilmington Christmas night. I am very THANKFUL to Chip Munna and always will be

Abi Lane / Mom

Chief Munna

First of all, I have worked for Chip, I have worked with him, and he has worked for me. I suppose everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but to indict the man simply because he's been suspended is ludicrous. Anyone who has spent any time in the political and public safety atmosphere in Brunswick County knows that ethics are questionable, at best. Simply being accused of something around here doesn't mean you did anything, AT ALL. People spread rumors about others in this business constantly and then have the gall to call themselves a professional.

I have found, in my professional experiences with Chip, that he's been moral, ethical, and fair....to a fault. He is the original rule follower. Have I had disagreements with him? Absolutely. But we always came to a compromise and we always worked together to get there.

This man has been a public safety leader, an instructor and a servant of this community for years. And regardless of what all of you think, he has sacrificed for his chosen career.

Let me tell you a story about the kind of guy he is: an instructor at the college had to step out of a Paramedic course in the middle because of illness. Chip stepped up and worked with me and another instructor to finish that course for the three remaining students so they would be able to finish their education and get certified. He did that even after some of the students spread rumors of a takeover and he held the confidence of the personal business of the sick instructor. He stuck with me and the other instructor to do the right thing by the remaining students. He also did that without recognition and during the Public Safety merger, while he was still in school to finish a degree. Nobody knows about that because we didn't seek praise for overextending ourselves; it was just the right thing to do.

That's just one example. Think of how many others there are and dont judge. You have no idea what's going on, and you're all just speculating. How about supporting one of our own as he is persecuted for something that he may have not done? When did he become guilty of anything? And by the way, leadership is NOT like-ship. He doesn't have to be your best friend to be an effective leader. And if he didn't give you what you want, that also doesnt make him corrupt. His job is not to make everyone happy, it's to serve his community effectively.

This community needs to grow up.

rescuejew

Rescuejew...your comments are on spot, cannot disagree. However stating that this community needs to "grow up" disgusts me. Sure there are folks who may not act to your liking or to "your standards". However everyone is entitled to their opinions just as you are and as you said it is not our job(s) to make you happy but to serve the community.

BHI

I think issues have been brewing on BHI for sometime now. I believe it all started with the merger of LE into Fire/EMS. I know Chief Munna and believe he is definately a professional and competent Firefighter and Paramedic. I do believe he is somewhat arrogant and a bit vindictive which could be catching up with him. I am not saying this to hurt him or his reputation but simply making a point that Chief Munna's form of leadership and his personality probably isnt working well with the Village Manager. When 2 people with similar characteristics (strong headed and arrogant)come together it is usually fireworks. I personally feel Chips personality is a bit abrasive but it is what it is and I respect that. With that said, I will also say that Chip has encountered some serious issues on BHI. Through the rumor mill (I hate rumors) it has been said his Deputy Chief has been working behind the scenes to cause him serious damage. In these type situations if you look closely you will find the root is usually someone who is jeallous and wanting to do it "their way". It is unfortunate this mess is going on but drama is drama and someone is always creating it.

Residents of BHI, do you

Residents of BHI, do you really feel that Chip (He is furtherst thing from a Chief except by title) is worth $94,000.00 - $97,000.00 a year when he is only on island an average of 10-12 hours a week. And let's look, Public Safety did not fail him, he failed Public Safety. It was Chip that pushed the Public Safety concept because he wanted control over the law enforcement as well, but he got in over his head. He also said, that there would not be turnover becasue of the slow economy, people couldn't afford to leave and we will have more applications than we have positions open and will never have to advertise for open positions. If you look at the Village website at the qualifications for an applicant, it says they must have 2 of 3 fields of experience in police, fire, or ems and he has no fire or ems so they are not able to fill current openings that meet their own requirements, as the last person they hired only has law enforcement experience from Leland. How many openings does Public Safety have right now anyway? Chip also told council that there would be 5 PSO's on duty at a time and this would greatly reduce the amount of money paid to part time employees. How many days this summer did each shift work with 4 PSO's and maybe we need to ask how much money has been paid out to hire part time help due to being short staffed and let's also look at the exploding amount of sick hours are being used. I know the folks of Bald Head Island want to think Chip is a great guy but but don't dare blame this only the Village Manager or Council, instead of giving him a scape goat in the Village Manager, make him accept his responsibilities and FAILURES. To work for him is much different than to see him at the occasional meeting or in passing. Morale is low, production is low and interest in working for Chip is low. If the island is lucky, Chip will be terminated and a new Chief can come in and build relations with other departments to where they once were, build morale in the department to where it once was, and be a positive leader and take Public Safety and the Village of Bald Head Island in the right direction. Village Manager and Village Council, do the right thing your your employees (all departments) and your community and get rid on Chip. This action is long overdue.

Chio

He is worth every penny. Nice speech Calvin.Calvin is worth about 98 cents.

Someone knows what they are

Someone knows what they are talking about :) Its always been a do as I say not as I do concept with Chip. The volunteers and general public just don't know that and never will understand. Karma.

Bald Head Island

Maybe there should be a suspension and investigation done on the village Manager. There have been things happen over the last several years that do not seem to be ethical or legal. From what I have heard, if things dont go Calvin Peck's way he will develop a personal vendetta against you until you quit or he can find something to fire you for. Appartently this is what is happening to Chief Munna now. I wonder if this is the managers sneaky way to push Chief Munna out! Who is doing the investigation, The Manager??? Sounds a little fishy to me. Hopefully the citizens of Bald Head Island and city
Council can wake up and see thru his personal agenda and hold the manager accountable for his wrong doings. Chief Munna seems to be very well liked and respected by the people. That doesn't seem to be the case for the Manager. It's amazing how some people can abuse power for their personal gain and get by with it while the ones that work hard and do their jobs correctly get suspended and investigated. This is a true example of corrupt politics and workplace bullying. STAND UP TO YOUR BULLY Bald Head Island!! I am sure there are dozens of qualified town managers out there that would love to take care of you and your island. People like chief munna are extremely rare but Managers are a dime a dozen!!

Kudos to Village Manager and

Kudos to Village Manager and Village Council. It is obvious he has blinded village residents and volunteers as one person put it. Notice they didn't say anything about current or most former employees. Chief Munna is a poor excuse for a leader and manager. He does not lead by example and is continually disrpecting other Village Departments, Village Hall Staff and Village Manager, which shows his lack of professionalism. With the internal turmoil he has caused and disrespect he has shown for other Village personnel, in any other work environment, he would have been fired a long time ago. Ask BHI Limited for a list of dates and times he is on the island and see he averages 3 -4 hours a day, 3 days a week. The only reason he has been allowed to run the department into the ground this much and kill morale is it is well known that the volunteers support him, but you have NO idea what it is like to work for such a sorry leader. Trust me, he is counting on you to get him out of trouble and sadly enough, you belive whatever he says. Trust me, you don't want everyone that is looking to leave to do so or there will be no protection on the island. The turn over rate is a direct reflection of his poor attitude, leadership, and judgement. Even though the manager may make decision that are not favorable to Chief Munna or the department, it is his responsibility to keep up the morale of the department and keep a positive attitude for his employees and if he can't, then he needs to leave and not try to rally everyone against the Village Manager, who just recently recieved an award for Manager of the Year, if my memory serves me correctly. Chief Munna is running the department as a political one and there is only room for one Sherrif in the county. No employee should be subject to the type of work enviornment that Chief Munna brings to the table and I hope to see justice served and read an article in the near future of his termination. He will play the "poor me" card but as one comment said, it's karma.

For a shift supervisor...

That seems to be a better description of one of the current shift supervisors, and not Chief Munna. Chief Munna more than pulls his weight and helps get things done, unlike some of the supervisors that whine behind his back and then try to kiss his butt to his face. If we are cleaning house then there are plenty of others that need to go before the Chief does! Two police supervisors did a similar scam on the previous police chief, and they almost took over the department for their deeds. Thankfully that did not happen!

Chief Munna

I worked with Chief Munna for many years, he is not only an example of what management should look like but he is a very kind and ethical human being. I have watched him battle for the rights of the citizens of Bald Head Island and for that of his employees against a manager who in my opinion dislikes him greatly out of petty jealousy and ego. I think The Village of Bald Head Island has a major issue with the Village Manager. I believe that once happy employees and citizens are now disgruntled. And it seems to me, in my opinion that that revolving door has much more to do with the policies the manager put in place rather than the Chief who was forced to support them. If the revolving door has been revolving for five years then look at the number of years this manager has been employed - five!

The community supports this Chief in a large way. The council should ear up and listen to its citizens - the taxpayers and those suspicious rumors of disgruntled employees against the manager instead of just the manager himself. It is in my opinion that this manager should be under investigation for his actions that I believe skate that very broad line of what is legal and what is ethical.

I sincerely hope that the investigation of Chief Munna goes unfounded and that he is reinstated to his well deserved position.

And he is the Chief of Police as well as the Chief of Fire and EMS for the person who commented that WWAY needed to get their facts straight. The once Fire Chief is now Chief of Public Safety and that includes Police.

Fire the Manager - keep the Chief!

Chief Munna

I have known Chief Munna for twenty years and can unequivocally say that he is one of the most honest, competent, respectable, fair, and genuine men I have ever met. He does not think he is God. He is a very intelligent man who works very hard to protect and serve the people,all people, as he has done since he started as a paramedic and rose to this well deserved position. I believe that this is nothing but a politically motivated attack by one very jealous village manager who better have some very strong ground to stand on if he thinks Chief Munna or the residents of Bald Head Island will take this lying down.

Chief Munna

The only words that come to mind with regards to Chief Munna are honorable, dedicated, generous, courageous, fair, etc.. . He is an example for all to follow & if just a few more of us possessed such a compassionate nature, the world would be a much better place.

Good Chief & Good Person

As a former Village employee I had the pleasure of working with Chip Munna for over eight years. During that time I found him to be one of the most well respected of all of the employees. His level of professionalism is unmatched and his dedication to the wellbeing of the people of Bald Head Island is unquestionable. I certainly don't know any of the details of his suspension. I can only pray that the internal investigation reveals that this suspension was out of an abundance of caution until the results were finalized and all the facts are known.

This is becoming rather

This is becoming rather routine. Surprised WWAY did not pick up News and Observer story of the two head guys at ALE under investigation by the State Auditor

Surprised to see this.

Even with all that has gone on lately with law enforcement this news report came as a great surprise to me. I have known Chip from a professional standpoint for many years. During those years and as a utility technician I had on a regular basis work assignments on BHI. During those years Chip and his department were extremely helpful in helping me (us) find locations on the Island including giving us an up to date map showing all current and proposed streets. They also kept this information updated on a regular basis. Therefore, we had the same and current information as all emergency services on the Island. Often, the work we needed to perform was critical to a customer and any delay could have caused a return trip (24 hour loss) to finish a job. Being able to quickly respond to the service call made a difference many times.

Nothing has been said as to why there has been a suspension but it does state "with pay". So, it could be an allegation made by a disgruntled person that must be fairly investigated. It may not be. But, with what I know about Chip Munna, I would not be surprised at all to find he has not committed any wrong doing at all. I also believe that thought is shared by many that live on BHI.

You all need to get your

You all need to get your facts straight before you sensationalize your reporting. He is the Fire and EMS Chief....not the Police Chief.

Just as a point of

Just as a point of clarification. Chief Munna is the Chief of Public Safety (Fire, EMS, & Law Enforcement). Chief Munna was the chief over Fire & EMS until the merger of the two departments a few years ago at which point he became the chief over all the departments.

Good guy and better chief

While I can't speak on behalf of the other embattled chief's problems within the county, I can say that Chief Munna is a good guy, a good Chief, and a knowledgable instructor. He's been serving Brunswick County for over 15 years and I hope this is all a load of crap in the news. The people of Bald Head Island are lucky to have him...just ask any resident or volunteer.

Chief Munna

The problem here on Bald Head is an out of control Village Manager and a Council who follows him blindly. Would love to hear from other people from Carolina Beach where Calvin Peck was Village Manager. I understand there were problems there with him as well. This island is not big enough for Calvin Peck's ego. The residents choose to send Peck packing and keep our well respected, well qualified Chief Munna. Carolina Beach people let us know what you think of Calvin Peck.

BHI ,VILLAGE IDIOT

Corrupt,backstabber,brown noser,sorry excuse for a medic or fake fire fighter. Most residence homes have burned to the ground through his lack of ability and leadership. Volunteers or...Island idiots were fooled by him when almost all of the medic fire fighters quit over ten years ago!!Anyone can see a patern there like past Chief Brown,who quit and later fired at Oask Island. Look back at the officers shooting death on the Island too!

Death on Bald Head

I do wish you would go into more detail about that shooting death on BHI. What do you know?

You must have been fired by

You must have been fired by him. By the tone of your email and iggnorance it was well deserved and the people are better off.

village idiot!

I assume you're referencing yourself with the terms village idiot?!!!

You must be one of the four horsemen from 1999?

Hey FFPPBCO...Dont be upset because you could not handle working as a fire medic back then. It is okay that you were terrible at it...it just wasnt your thing. Everyone was better off when you guys "left" BHI over 12 years ago.

this isn't just a brunswick

this isn't just a brunswick county thing, it's all over the country, what is going on?

We residents on Bald Head

We residents on Bald Head fully support our Public Safety Chief. He is the most ethical person I have had the pleasure to work with on Bald Head Island. He is an excellent teacher and trainer. He is an asset to our island. We regret the Council and our Village manager . think this suspensions is necessary. We think there are problems at the top of our government structure and hope to remedy them by petition or election.

Bad Boss

Take it from a former employee. Things going on in the Public Safety Department have been sliding downhill for a long time. What the public and volunteers see is not what goes on behind the scenes . A leader should lead by example not have two sets of rules one that applies to him and one that applies to everyone else. All one has to do is look at the former employees that have either left or been forced out that were dedicated to the department and it's volunteers and you will see a pattern of poor leadership.
Regardless of what people think of Chief Munna personally I think an investigation of him the department and the village employment policies are way overdue. A manager and department that treats employees as poorly as the village has for the last 5 years should be seriously looked at by the citizens they are there to serve to see what changes need to be made before its too late. Continuing on with just the direction and input of a few people will lead to the same problems just repeating them selfs. It is time for a change from the top down.

Who is really the bad one?

That public safety system was set up for failure from the start, and never got much better after that. The things that did improve were from the chief pushing the issues with the manager. The chief still had to do as he was told and wasn’t allowed to implement a lot of the changes that he and his staff recommended. So many people don’t realize what their boss is made to do by their bigger boss. This is true in most work places, but instead of seeing the big picture the line staff just blame their immediate supervisor and not the manager or elected officials for what they mandate behind the scenes. People just need to think before that jump to conclusions, and others need to not be so ready to attack without due cause.

Amen

Amen