Dummett given time off while town investigates complaint
Stallings police chief Michael Dummett has been placed on paid administrative leave. Town manager Brian Matthews said he made the decision Sunday, Feb. 5, after a complaint came in.
“The Chief has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into a complaint lodged against him,” Matthews said, making it clear the chief wasn’t suspended for any disciplinary reasons. Due to the fact it’s a personnel issue, Matthews said he was not at liberty to discuss the specifics of the complaint or the investigation.
Stallings mayor Lynda Paxton gave slightly more detail, saying that Matthews had informed the town council on Monday of the decision and the complaint, which came from several employees within the police department.
“ The Chief is providing excellent leadership and service to the town,” Paxton said. “It is not unexpected that there might be some difficulty adjusting to new standards and procedures and I anticipate that any complaints will be resolved quickly.”
Paxton added that she has requested the town hire an expert from outside the department to conduct the investigation, in order to assure objectivity.
“In my opinion, we have no one on our staff who has the investigative skills or the unbiased perspective necessary in this situation,” Paxton said.
The town’s personnel policy requires the manager to investigate the complaint, Matthews said, adding however that an outside investigator could be allowed.
“That is an option that I am sure will be discussed with the Council,” Matthews said.
Dummett, 42, took over as police chief in December 2010, coming from the city of Raeford. An 18-year veteran of law enforcement, Dummet served as Raeford’s police chief since 2008. Prior to that he worked for the Salisbury Police Department, starting out in 1992 as a patrol officer and then working his way up as a narcotics detective and later a member of the SWAT team.
Matthews said he couldn’t give a timeframe for when the investigation might be completed, but that the town hopes to finish it as quickly as possible.