Leland town officials have re-instated pay for five police officers suspended from the force on Friday. As WHQR’s Rachel Lewis Hilburn reports, the reversal – which came early Monday morning – includes any back pay to which they might be entitled.
Leland Town Manager David Hollis says he’s re-instating pay for the five officers because the suspensions are not intended as disciplinary action.
“Suspending someone without pay vs. suspending someone with pay … seems to be more of a disciplinary action. That’s the way it’s perceived by a lot of people and that’s not what this is. It’s a suspension to be able to continue an investigation with some separation between these officers and the Town of Leland.”
The five suspended officers include some of the highest-ranking employees on the force. On Friday, Hollis announced that the Deputy Chief, two lieutenants and two officers were suspended without pay – effective immediately based on information from an ongoing investigation. Hollis says he can’t say much about the probe – except that it’s a personnel matter related to town and police department policy – and that it’s unrelated to the current SBI criminal investigation.
“We don’t want people to jump to judgment regarding these officers. We certainly don’t want to do anything to harm their reputation as police officers.”
The suspensions come on the heels of the February firing of Police Chief Timothy Jayne.