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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The firing Tuesday of a New Hanover County Sheriff’s deputy is the latest incident involving law enforcement accused of wrongdoing in our area.

Taking a look at just the past 18 months, we found nearly 20 cases where officers were disciplined, arrested or even convicted.

From DWI to indecent liberties with a minor, and more. These are just a few of the charges some local law enforcement officers have faced over the past year and a half.

Early last year, Leland fired Police Chief Tim Jayne after we uncovered a host of issues within his department, including a female officer shot in the crotch with simulation ammunition during training. Several of Jayne’s officers wound up losing their jobs and their law enforcement certification after a SBI investigation.

Also in Leland, two officers were suspended and then quit following a fight in downtown Wilmington that witnesses say the cops egged on.

Last year Fair Bluff Police Chief Marty Lewis was fired after investigators say they caught him selling drugs on duty.

North Topsail Beach Police officer Casey Simpson was fired and charged early last year with allegedly peeping on a teenager.

Boiling Spring Lakes fired Chief Emmett Ballree after his arrest for aiding and abetting a felon, who happened to be his son. His court case was continued today.

A Wrightsville Beach Police officer quit four days after being arrested for allegedly drinking and driving.

Earlier this year, a Pender County Sheriff’s deputy was fired after being charged with DWI. William Paluck was in uniform and driving his patrol car when investigators say he rear-ended another car.

An Onslow County Sheriff’s deputy was fired and then rehired as a detention officer after being involved in a road rage accident that he caused.

SBI is investigating a botched prostitution sting involving several Wilmington Police officers last year.

And the SBI charged former Northwest Police Lt. Michael Hayes with solicitation of a minor for prostitution and filing a false report.

Other cases we uncovered involved officers violating procedures and accusations of wrongful arrests and giving false testimony in court.

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20 Comments on "Fired deputy the latest in string of cops accused of bad behavior"

2015 years 8 months ago

I know of 2 more that will be going soon. Tune in to WWAY!!!! Who learns of news first!!!!! Crooked Cops SUCK! Say’s who!? Say’s Kblue!!!

2015 years 8 months ago

The two you know and add you into that group. How is it going at Fair Bluff? Have you screwed up there like you did at Northwest?

2015 years 8 months ago

They do and unfortunately they make the good ones look bad to the public.

2015 years 8 months ago

dont forget NHSO Harold Fletcher for child sex crimes, or PCSO Deputy for coming to intoxilzer school drunk

2015 years 8 months ago

Shouldn’t that be “FIRING” and not “The DURING Tuesday of a New Hanover County Sheriff’s deputy is the latest incident involving law enforcement accused of wrongdoing in our area.”

I swear you writers do not proofread your work!!

Wilmington Observer
2015 years 8 months ago

It seems, to me, that “journalist” in Southeastern North Carolina put more of an emphasis of “being first to report” than, professionally, publishing grammatically correct, well written and investigated reports of local relevance.

I don’t blame the “journalist” as much as I do the educational system that did not set a high enough standard for the students. I, also, do not blame the “journalist” as much as I blame the media outlets that they work for. They allow sloppy work products, as the one you have pointed out, as well as “cut & paste jobs” from other media outlets (with no local relevance) instead of encouraging the “journalist” to go out, into the community, develop a network of sources, and uncover stories of interest to the community.

Instead of just relying on a press release, “journalist” should follow up and find out what was not included in press releases, ask questions, dig deeper, ruffle some feathers and remember that EVERYTHING that they publish, with their name on it, will be scrutinized not only by their advertisers and readers but by the people responsible for filling that “dream job” that opens up with the media outlet that you “have always dreamed about working for”. Everything that they publish is a part of their reputation and resume’ that will follow their career, forever.

Sometimes, being first (to publish) will do more harm to a “journalist” than taking the time to put together a well written, thought out, investigated piece of journalism that they can be PROUD of putting their name on.

Wilmington Observer

2015 years 8 months ago

Just be proud!!!! Tomorrow morning? You get to wake up a moron again!!!! YAY DUMB DUMB!!!!!Say’s who!? Say’s Kblue!!!

Scott Pickey
2015 years 8 months ago

Wilmington Observer:

We definitely appreciate your feedback and taking the time to leave a comment on the website.

I’d like to invite you to spend a day with us here at WWAY, so you can understand better how we allocate resources and attempt to cover local stories day in and day out.

Let me know if you’re ever interested.


Scott Pickey
WWAY News Director

2015 years 8 months ago

I appreciate your offer to Wilmington observer to go to WWAY to observe and see how you allocate resources in your attempts to cover news stories.

I will be the FIRST to admit I have emailed both you and Kevin regarding stories that I thought had huge local interest.
How about this recent “gig”:
I emailed John Rendlemen asking why he has not mentioned – NOT Once – the news yesterday that Mandalay Baseball properties is for sale. That whole baseball stadium thing generated huge numbers of stories at WWAY, and the commentary here was at times vicious – yes even from me (I apologize for that by the way).

Yet, the story comes out and not a damn peep out of WWAY. No interview with Mayor Saffo – “Hey Mayor wouldn’t this have completely negated the lease agreement had the ballpark been approved”????

Here’s an invite for you SCOTT – track the blog posts – see what interests “us” – we know you use feeds from national news sources for some stuff but local news? You guys already know what gets us going. When Sen Goolsby’s story gets 94 comments in a 2 day span – that’s an indicator of what is important to us here.
When the ballpark got 40 stories and lord knows how many blog posts – that’s an indicator as well. So when Mandalay says “we’re up for sale” !! Dontcha’ think we might want a little reporting on this?

One more point – particularly at Wilmington Observer. I have, in the past, emailed a reporter saying “you know you made a grammatical error, you may want to fix this………” and it actually got fixed shortly thereafter.(I’ve done that on other local media outlet sites as well)

Scott – the blog/internet site is secondary to your TV news – we get it – but reporting is reporting – visually reading a teleprompter while looking into a TV Camera is different than the printed word……..a good reporter can do both, and you are now loaded with good reporters.


Wilmington Observer
2015 years 8 months ago

I, sincerely, appreciate your offer.

I have spent much time in every “newsroom” in Wilmington as well as, regularly, had reporters (from each media outlet) in my office. I got to know many of them well enough to be guests in their homes, shared nights on the town and, as stated, could walk freely through a newsroom while waiting on a reporter friend to finish up, for the day. I carefully, as my moniker states, “observed”. Sometimes, even from the sofa in your own office

I think that, from my observations, and conversations (with those reporters) I do have, at least, a basic understanding of the office politics and struggles of keeping a newsroom running.

During those times, not so long ago, it was easy to recognize the reporters who (despite the, terribly, low wages) had the pride, in their work, to “do it right”. As fate would have it, their work and reputations opened up opportunities for most and they have moved on, to bigger markets. I have kept in touch with all. I see no need to repeat my earlier stance. I stand by it but, have a bit more respect for a News Director who actually published it instead of ignoring it (although I still can’t understand why WWAY is the only, local, media outlet that feels the need to approve reader comments).

Now, if you could just get those, new, reporters to proofread their work and stick to local stories (instead of cutting & pasting from other sources)………

Wilmington Observer

2015 years 8 months ago

They probably aren’t reporting the Mandalay thing because it’s a dead horse and you can only beat it so many times before you realize it’s dead — long dead. How does the sale of Mandalay affect me or Wilmington now? Do we really care here that they were sold? We all decided back in November that we don’t want it. If the only reason is to tell Chuck et. al. “told you so,” then you don’t need a news story for that. I, for one, am not interested in baseball or Brian Berger any longer. Or that teen mom drug addict. But that’s just me.

Wilmington Observer
2015 years 8 months ago

Yet, the typo (that generated this conversation) remains.

Wilmington Observer

2015 years 8 months ago

Baseball??! YAWN … I’d rather hear about cops behaving badly any day.

2015 years 8 months ago

If the city was ready to spend $54M on a stadium based upon flawed economic impact numbers or a long term partnership that is now shown to be a sham this story continues on.
The city wants to support filming with flawed economic impact numbers.
They built a convention center based upon? Flawed economic impact numbers.
And who championed that stadium?
WDI – the Star News – The Chamber of Commerce.

so who do you trust with your tax dollars?
I agree it’s a dead horse but it’s turning into a pet cemetery as there seems to be a lot of dead horses around here as this is part of a long line of proposed spending initiatives that we, fortunately, had the ability to stop.
This mayor and this council needs to be replaced and be continuously reminded of their mistakes.
These same folks want to gouge the County by taking beach renourishment funds and rename them waterfront renewal funds so they can fix Riverwalk with them.

Yeah I know you’re sick of it, so am I.
Brian Berger provided a necessary distraction by the way, giving the city a little breathing room……

No unfortunately this story lives on……..


Wilmington Observer
2015 years 8 months ago

Some….. well, MOST call me obsessive / compulsive. I just don’t understand why. :-)

Thank you, WWAY, for FINALLY correcting the typo. I will be able to sleep tonight.

Wilmington Observer

2015 years 8 months ago

That dude is BS. I mean, he completely butchers comments on a regular basis and then has the audacity to say, “derrrr grammar!”

Hey Wilmington Observer, the word is, “parody.” People in glass houses, brah.

…and the whole, “I was born and raised in a newsroom. I lost my virginity in a newsroom.” …etc. It’s too funny.

Scott? I feel for you.

2015 years 8 months ago

In the old days we had Peace Officers that were trained by their own dept. The older police trained the younger and it was easier to weed out the bad guy sooner. We still had the bad ones get through the system but not near as many. Now with the BLET puppy mills just about anyone can get in the system because they are certified. Certified sure doesn’t mean qualified. The new LEO has a different mind set than the old Peace Officer. Peace Officers were just that PEACE Officers and the LEO is just as the name says Law EnFORCEment Officers. The old cop used his brain to talk a situation down the new cop Forces the situation to a conclusion where the feel the only way out is fight. Any of us over 50 can remember Police Departments that never needed all these special teems of para military shock troops that forces a situationist and back a person into a corner. The problem is probably caused by to many Hollywood cop shows and not enough real life examples and to many Police Chiefs with to much school and not enough street smarts.

Guest 4253
2015 years 8 months ago

By “we” you must mean WWAY. You personally haven’t been here for more than 3 weeks.

2015 years 8 months ago

There are over 800 police officers, deputies, probation officers, ALE, Highway Patrolmen, and correctional officers, in NH, Pender, Brunswick, and Onslow counties. Though 18 incidents a year, are 18 too many, it’s only a small number.

It also shows there is no “Blue Wall Of Silence”. In this last case, like most cases, it was a NH County Deputy, who realized something was wrong, and reported it. Both Sheriff McMahon, and WPD Chief Evangelous took immediate action, when it hit their desks.

2015 years 8 months ago

I do agree with most of your post,but there were a few left off the list and we all know that every incident is not reported in the paper. You would be surprised how many officers are just allowed to resign and we never hear a word about it.


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