ONLY ON 3: Sheriff responds after Leland rejects offer to help
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — It seems like Leland does not want any more help from outsiders in solving its problems.
Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram offered his internal affairs investigator for free to look into a slew of allegations within Leland’s police department, including sex at the station house, an officer pulling his gun on a colleague and an alcohol-fueled fight involving the police chief. But at last night’s town meeting, council members voted against the plan.
Today Sheriff Ingram spoke out.
“When the citizens have concerns or questions or allegations are made that could compromise public trust, it is my duty and responsibility to use every resource available to me,” Ingram said. “I feel like it’s the only way we are going to get to the truth. If the SBI can investigate, they investigate the criminal part, then get this internal affairs man to come in and let him investigate anything else that may have occurred.”
Councilwoman Martha Currie presented the idea Thursday night and got support from Councilman Herbert Barnes, but Mayor Walter Futch, Mayor Pro Tem Brenda Bozeman and Councilwoman Pat Batleman voted against it.
Sources tell us some leaders privately suggested that the only reason Ingram offered his help was to get publicity.
“I think being in office for three years now, my record speaks for itself regarding the media,” Ingram said. “I’ve never been accused of someone who loves to jump in front of a camera.”
Bozeman, who refused to talk on camera, told us she wants to see what the SBI investigation uncovers first, then take any other steps if necessary.
In the meantime Ingram says he hopes someone finds the truth, whatever it may be.
“I know that eventually the facts will come out, and at that time the town officials and citizens in Leland can make good decisions as to what needs to be done and move forward,” he said.
Sheriff Ingram stressed that if in the future Leland would like more help with the investigation, he says the Sheriff’s Office will be glad to help.
Two weeks ago Police Chief Tim Jayne sent a letter to the SBI asking for assistance investigating criminal allegations within his department. We asked a SBI spokeswoman today if that investigation started. She has not answered our request.
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