LELAND, NC (WWAY) — A North Carolina Department of Justice spokeswoman says five former Leland police officers are no longer sworn law enforcement officers. Former Deputy Chief Karl Smith, Lt. Bill Kozak, Lt. Rick Dellapia, Ofc. Michael Landen and Ofc. John Blasingame all either quit or were fired last spring as the SBI investigated allegations of problems within the Leland Police Department.
WWAY was the first media outlet to report the issues beginning in September 2011. The allegations stemmed from a LPD training exercise conducted earlier that year, during which former Ofc. Sherry Lewis claims other officers targeted her because she is a woman. Lewis says during training with simulated ammunition, she was shot multiple times in the crotch injuring her. Lewis later left the department and reached a $25,000 settlement with the town in September 2011.
During a special meeting in October 2011, the Leland Town Council ordered Chief Tim Jayne to request a SBI investigation into his department. The probe wrapped up last summer, and has since been reviewed by the Attorney General’s Special Prosecution Unit. DOJ spokesman Noelle Talley says the criminal case against the officers involved “has been resolved.” It is still unclear what other information from the DOJ may be a matter of public record.
Town Manager David Hollis fired Jayne Feb. 1, 2012. He was replaced by Mike James. Talley says “there was no indication of wrongdoing by the chief in this case.”