LELAND, NC (WECT) - A Leland Police Officer has been fired and two others have announced their resignation amidst an ongoing SBI investigation regarding missing evidence within the department.
According to Town Manager David Hollis, Detective Richard Christopher has been terminated from his position.
According to a letter of termination issued under the authority of the Chief of Police, Christopher was fired for four separate policy violations including unsatisfactory performance, neglect of duty, supervision, and unbecoming conduct.
Hollis also said that Christopher may have withheld the truth from town leaders and SBI investigators, which eventually led to the "conduct unbecoming."
Two other officers, Sgt. Patrick McGowan and Detective Ryan O'Conner have announced their resignation, effective early September. Hollis said their decisions may have been influenced by two on-going investigations surrounding those two employees. However, Hollis said their resignation letters do not mention that.
Hollis said that the Town of Leland is now looking to hire two new investigators to fill the void left behind.
"We will tell you and the people of the town as much information as we can," said Hollis. "I hope they (the public) can take from that is we're working for their good, we're trying to do the right thing. We're proactive. We're not just letting something come up and fester and become a major problem."
To be clear, O'Conner was not being investigated by the SBI. The other two were involved in the SBI investigation.