WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Picked as Officer of the Year then demoted after showing up to work, allegedly reeking of alcohol. He's a former marine and a former sergeant with the UNCW Police Department, but Charles Lindsey was recently demoted to officer, after showing up for work under the influence of alcohol.
Last week Lindsey attended an awards banquet for Justice in Motion, where he was honored for having the most DWI arrests in 2009 for the UNCW Police Department. In April, Lindsey was also chosen by UNCW Police as Officer of the Year. So you may find it ironic that just a few days after receiving that distinction, he was demoted for coming to work under the influence of alcohol.
"I'm sure you can understand it would be inappropriate for me to discuss any specific personnel matter or any specific circumstances," UNCW Police Chief David Donaldson said. "I do, though, have very high expectations of my staff and will hold my staff accountable, and that accountability may be visible in the matter of personnel action or if circumstances warrant a criminal action."
Sources tell WWAY that Lindsey had been out for a big night on the town and still had alcohol in his system when he came to work the next day. We know a supervisor smelled alcohol on his breath, and had him take an alco-sensor test. Several hours after coming to work, Lindsey blew a .05 blood alcohol level followed by a .07. That's under the legal limit, but still against policy for an officer on duty.
It does not appear that Lindsey was out on patrol that morning, and he was not caught breaking any laws, so no criminal charges were filed. But because of the demotion, his salary took a $10,000 hit.
"We have very high standards for our community, and in turn we have very high standards for our staff," Chief Donaldson said. "Our community has very high expectations of us, and in turn we work very hard to provide a professional police force for them."
Lindsey did not respond to our request for an interview. We did speak to Barb Lynch of Justice in Motion, the anti-drunk driving group that recently honored Lindsey for all of his DWI arrests. She tells us his award will stand, because it's based on arrests made before his recent demotion.