FIRST ON 3: Boiling Spring Lakes police chief suspended

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BOILING SPRING LAKES, NC (WWAY) — Boiling Spring Lakes has suspended its police chief as it launches an investigation of allegations against him.

City Manager Jeff Repp says Chief Emmett Ballree was suspended with pay this morning. Repp says the city is investigating an allegation Ballree abused his power as chief.

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Repp says Lt. Rick Spencer is serving as interim chief during Ballree’s suspension. Repp says he hopes to wrap up the investigation “fairly shortly.”

The SBI launched an investigation into Ballree earlier this year at the request of a judge and the District Attorney. A SBI spokeswoman says the investigation is in its final stages. Last month DA Jon David would only say the he received a complaint of Ballree committing an alleged criminal act. Repp said the allegation he is investigating is separate from the SBI case.

Ballree has been investigated before. In 2008, a Training and Standards committee cleared Ballree after he was accused of misusing a town credit card to buy fuel for his personal car when he was police chief in Mount Olive.