Wilmington police corporal cleared to return from administrative leave

District Attorney, SBI find no evidence of criminal activity in investigation of Wilmington police corporal
Published: May. 10, 2023 at 11:53 AM EDT|Updated: May. 16, 2023 at 4:21 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The Wilmington Police Department has announced that Corporal Robert Ferencak was cleared to return from administrative leave on Monday.

District Attorney Ben David and the State Bureau of Investigations say they found no evidence of criminal activity in an investigation of Ferencak. WECT first learned of the administrative leave thanks to a document provided by WHQR.

“We want to make it very clear that CPL. Ferencak did nothing wrong. He has been fully cleared by the SBI and Chief Williams. CPL. Ferencak will be returning to active duty effective immediately. The department will not be making any further comment on this,” the WPD said in a statement.

Police say he was put on administrative leave, not suspended. Per police, suspension is the result of disciplinary action, and disciplinary actions weren’t taken against Ferencak because of the investigation.

According to Ferencak’s employee file, his status was changed to “administrative leave - suspension/investigation” on March 20, 2023. His current salary is $59,645, and he first began working as a police officer with the department in 2013.

“The District Attorney’s Office consulted with the State Bureau of Investigation regarding their investigation of Officer Ferencak. There was no evidence of criminal activity uncovered during this investigation. Questions regarding this officer’s status with the agency should be directed to the Wilmington Police Department,” the DA’s office said in a statement.

The SBI has told WECT that it received a request from the WPD to investigate an officer.

“Only names of individuals who have been arrested, charged or indicted are public records under NCGS 132-1.4,” the SBI said in a statement given to WECT on May 10. “Therefore, we cannot comment about investigations regarding specific individuals. We can acknowledge that on 3/20/23, the SBI received a request from the Wilmington Police Department to investigate an allegation of inappropriate conduct by an officer with the Wilmington Police Department while off duty.”

WPD violent crime detective Aricka Sidbury is still on administrative leave as of April 19.