Former Chadbourn Police Chief pleads guilty to fourteen felonies

Former Chadbourn Police Chief pleads guilty to fourteen felonies
Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 3:30 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 25, 2023 at 3:50 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - District Attorney Jon David’s office announced the guilty plea and sentencing on Monday of former Chadbourn Police Department Chief William Anthony Spivey.

He pleaded guilty to 14 felonies and one misdemeanor and was sentenced to 138-267 months in prison. The former chief was charged in April of 2021 for stealing thousands of dollars in cash, guns from the evidence locker and pills over multiple years. Then in 2022, a missing person search began after he left a suicide note while on bond. He was later discovered across the state line in Loris, South Carolina.

“In February 2021, the Columbus County District Attorney’s Office became increasingly concerned about missing evidence at the Chadbourn Police Department. Two Assistant District Attorneys with the Columbus County District Attorney’s office requested to review evidence in several narcotic cases at the Chadbourn Police Department for discovery purposes. Spivey could not produce all the evidence requested and declined allowing the examination of the evidence he presented,” the announcement states.

The DA’s office says that David requested an SBI investigation into Spivey on March 2, 2021, for potential violations of obstruction of justice and willful failure to discharge a duty of office. This eventually led to a search of the department, including Spivey’s office and the evidence room.

“Multiple items of evidence seized from various cases were found to be missing, including money, narcotics, and several firearms. Certain bags labeled as evidence with written descriptions of the items contained therein were found to be torn open with some or all of the items described missing. Much of the missing evidence was attached to cases initiated during such time when Spivey had exclusive care, custody, and control of the Chadbourn Police Department evidence room.

“Certain opened evidence bags with missing items of evidence were located within Spivey’s office, along with copies or original case files and property sheets. Former Chief Spivey removed items of evidence and sold firearms to friends, family members, and acquaintances,” the announcement continues.

After he was arrested and posted bond, the DA’s office says he didn’t make it to his court appearance and left a suicide note. Detectives from the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office later found out that Spivey was at a friend’s property in Loris, South Carolina. At that property, he was taken into custody by law enforcement.

Chief Assistant District Attorney Jason Minnicozzi finalized the plea agreement ahead of what the DA said would have been a lengthy trial beginning later this year.

“Spivey has been held accountable for his actions and we hope that this will bring confidence back to our community, including our law enforcement partners, who work diligently as they serve our community with integrity. Mr. Spivey’s actions are not a reflection upon law enforcement. Spivey’s conduct is reflective of an outlier who took advantage of his position of trust and power,” Minnicozzi said in the announcement.

“This was not an isolated incident,” said District Attorney Jon David. “Rather, Anthony Spivey was engaged in an ongoing pattern of criminal conduct. At some point in his career, Mr. Spivey made the decision to stop serving his community and instead start serving his own selfish interests. In my view, the punishment handed down today, which includes a significant prison sentence and the permanent loss of his badge, reflects the depth of Mr. Spivey’s breach of duty and speaks justice.”