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This May Explain Why Police Chief Was Absent So Often

Was allegedly working 2nd job while supposedly on duty in Southport, NC; department is shut down
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2018 2:58 PM CDT
   (Getty/martyweil)

(Newser) – Residents of the small coastal town of Southport, North Carolina, won't be seeing any of their local police officers for a while. Instead, Brunswick County deputies will be taking over because the town's entire police department has been shut down amid a corruption scandal, reports WECT. It's a doozy: Prosecutors say Police Chief Gary Smith and Lt. Michael Simmons were regularly off working a second job with a trucking company while they were supposedly on duty. Sometimes they weren't even in the state, let alone the town, according to the charges against them.

As a result, the department was like a leader-less "ghost ship," local district attorney Jon David tells WWAY. He adds that it was police officers who first came forward with complaints, which led to a joint state and federal investigation. Smith, 46, and Simmons, 48, face charges of conspiracy to obtain property by false pretenses, willful failure to discharge duties, and obstruction of justice. (Read more North Carolina stories.)

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