FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: Leland Council directs police chief to ask SBI for investigation
LELAND, NC (WWAY) — The special meeting held by the Leland Town Council Thursday night was brief, leaving many questions unanswered.
The room was packed with Leland residents who were all looking for the same thing: answers. But it seems they will have to keep waiting. After a quick opening, the Leland Town Council retreated to a closed session with no explanation of what they would be discussing or why Mayor Walter Futch was not in attendance.
After about 35 minutes, Police Chief Tim Jayne was called into the closed session meeting. Then the council returned back to their seats as the crowd waiting for a decision.
“We have looked into what is required of the town to request an investigation by the SBI of any alleged criminal activity by the Leland Police Department and improper release of personnel information,” Leland Mayor Pro Tem Brenda Bozeman said. “We have determined that a request for such an investigation must be made by the Chief Jayne, and Chief Jayne is sending that request in writing. And that request will be sent to the SBI in the morning.”
And as quickly as it had begun, the meeting was over leaving citizens with just as many answers as they had come with. Leland Town Attorney John Wessell said that leaders could not talk about the situation because it was classified under personnel issues.
We caught up with Wessell after the meeting and asked about a statute that said personnel information could be released to the public to maintain confidence. He said under the statute, some information could be released.
“With the concurrence of the council it is a possibility under the statue, yes,” Wessell said.
We also tried to talk to Chief Jayne after the meeting, but were blocked by other officers who rushed him to a car.
We spoke with Mayor Walter Futch by phone after the meeting. He said he had no comment about why he was not in attendance.
We also asked Wessell from a legal standpoint where our sources could go from here and he said he did not have a clue.
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