Here are some facts the citizens of BSL should have just in case they do not already. When Chief White announced his intentions to retire the city of BSL went into a search for a new Police Chief. A committee was put together for that search headed by then city manager, David Lewis. Along with Lewis was then city Mayor, Joan Kinney. No other person from that council sat on the committee or had any voice one way or the other about the hire. Lewis along with Kinney chose for your city and to be your close neighbor, Emmett Ballree. Here is just some documented history that they had and did not care about and certainly did not share with you citizens.
July, 2007 Mount Olive, N.C. — The police chief of Mount Olive has resigned amid allegations that he used a town credit card at a gas station to fill the tank of his personal vehicles, authorities said.
Chief Emmett Ballree resigned late Friday after the town conducted an internal investigation.
July 1, 2007 Former Mount Olive police Chief Emmett Ballree won't confirm or deny allegations that he used the town's credit card to gas up one or more personal vehicles.
Important- During his tenure as the Mount Olive Police Chief his son, Michael Ballree burglarized that department of one or more firearms. This action earned younger Ballree a felony conviction. This should have been taken into consideration as to who and what we are bringing to our city. REMEMBER THOUGH, LEWIS NEVER LIVED IN THIS CITY and therefore he and his family would have zero effect by this decision.
Also important, before selected as the BSL Chief, the Ballree family had received protection through the Federal Bankruptcy Courts. Why this is important goes to common since as to the question, how well would a particular person be able to operate within a budget as a department head.
December, 2007 Ballree hired by Dave Lewis as new BSL Chief. However, and temporarily Ballree was not able to stay on BSL payroll due to refusal of NC training and standards to certify him.
January 2008 Dave Lewis convinces training and standards to authorize a temporary certification and Ballree is may now legally wear a badge, carry a gun, effect an arrest and be the Police Chief.
2009 NC Training and Standards holds hearing and finds not probable cause to revoke Ballree's certification. This is what it is and while it is not an exoneration it does state there is not enough presented to rule against Ballree. He retains his certification and job.
During the tenure of David Lewis complaints were brought to his attention with allegations of misuse of the city vehicle. Lewis did nothing. Also since coming to BSL legal and criminal problems for the adult children living in the home continue to mount.
It would seem this abuse continued after Lewis resigned and right up to the time of termination as the reported findings by the new city manager support that abuse.
Add to this in June of this year a SBI investigation was requested by a Superior Court judge and the District Attorney into possible criminal actions and what would a reasonable person with reasonable intelligence conclude? When you look at the known background before Ballree came here along with continued accusations of abuse of his city vehicle and continuing legal/criminal problems of the two adult children living in the home you have to ask yourself, what in the heck were David Lewis and Joan Kinney thinking?
They certainly could hot have been thinking about you.
Now admittedly the Ballree family has had more than their share of very hard times and that is sorrowful. However, all in that family residing in the city are adults and the culpability of the problems rest on the shoulders of those adults. To try to place blame anywhere else is to stick you head in the sand and ignore simple and fundamental facts. Unless you want to add the culpability to the two that brought these problems to the city.
It is way past time for this action to be taken but we need to look forward rather than backward. We need to see a new Police Chief in this city that not only will make us proud but make the officers proud to work for him. Of course, we need a Chief that will be a good neighbor and one we would be proud to live next door to. The citizens deserve this and so do the hard working policemen that protect us each and every day.
The above information is easy enough to find on the web. It is quite a bit over a period of several years. To get a complete story on this it would be great if the local news agencies would look into the entire context from start to finish. It is just not that hard to verify. And while questions are being asked of present staff and the city manager, why does the news go back and ask the two that did this and ask them to justify their actions to the citizens now.
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