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LELAND, NC (WECT) - Criminal charges could be on the horizon for officers who were suspended and then fired from the Leland Police Department several months ago. The state statute the town is citing for not releasing an internal affairs investigation could lead to that possibility.
Town manager David Hollis said he couldn't say whether or not the town would go after the fired officers with criminal charges. But, if you look at the statute the town is citing for not releasing information about an internal affairs investigation, it would lead you to believe the town is looking at going after them criminally.
Hollis said he turned over the officers' personnel information to their attorney, but could not turn over the results of an internal affairs investigation, citing parts of North Carolina General Statute 160A-168.
"Investigative reports or memoranda and other information concerning the investigation of possible criminal actions of an employee, until the investigation is completed and no criminal action taken, or until the criminal action is concluded," the statute reads.
"The internal investigation regarding these individuals has concluded," Interim Police Chief Mike James said in April.
Because the investigation has concluded, according to the statute, the only way the town cannot release that information to the officers is if it plans to go after the former officers criminally.
"State statute prevents us from releasing anything regarding an ongoing investigation of any criminal action," Hollis said.
Hollis could not say whether or not the town plans to pursue criminal charges, but he said the way WECT made the connection was very "intelligent."
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