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THE RANT: Leland should take a lesson from East Spencer


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY'S "THE RANT") -- Have you heard yet about the two firefighters in East Spencer who shocked a junior firefighter nine times with a stun gun during a department Christmas party?

According to the Salisbury Post, investigators say Acting Fire Chief Shane Cranfield and Assistant Fire Chief Allen Carlyle borrowed the Taser from on-duty police officer James Lambeth at the party.

Lambeth will be charged with misdemeanor failure to discharge duty. He resigned December 15. Cranfield, 37, and Carlyle, 29, will also be charged with misdemeanor assault.

Sounds familiar doesn't it? Sort of like when Leland Police Officer Sherry Lewis was shot between the legs with simulated ammunition during a training exercise last February. She says the department's upper management instructed Officer Michael Landen to shoot her there all day. She says she was shot at least 12 times.

As of today, the Town of Leland will not confirm disciplining anyone for the shooting. Lewis filed an EEOC complaint and won a $25,000 settlement. Immediately after announcing the details of the settlement at a town council meeting, former Town Manager Bill Farris tried to deny the allegations and told us he didn't even know if there was a shooting.

I would venture to guess getting shot in the private parts with simulated bullets is at least as painful, if not MORE, than getting Tased nine times. So if the two people involved in the Tasing are being charged with assault, and mind you this was at a Christmas party, why aren't the officers who ordered Sherry Lewis shot while on-duty during an exercise being allowed to even still have a job?

The leaders of Leland, both old and new, should look to East Spencer and Rowan County as an example of how real leaders handle town employees who cross the line.

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