Fired Belhaven Chief And Lieutenant Fight Terminations

By: Christine Kennedy
By: Christine Kennedy

A police chief and his second in command fired from the Belhaven Police Department in Beaufort County are going to fight their terminations.

Greenville lawyer Mary-Ann Leon tells WITN News that she is recommending that the two fired officers first file a grievance under Belhaven's personnel policies.

Former Chief George Hayden, and former Lt. Josh Hopkins have hired Leon to represent them.

Leon says the grievance is the first step in the legal process, and its outcome could determine if a lawsuit is filed.

The firing of Hayden and Hopkins has sent the Beaufort County town into a tailspin over the past week.

At a regularly scheduled city council meeting last Monday, well over 75 people packed in to see if the mayor would say why.

Many were in support of Hayden and Hopkins, who were let go Thursday afternoon. Mayor Adam O'Neal called it a personnel matter, and reiterated that he would not say why the firings took place.

Beaufort County Sheriff, Alan Jordan has temporally taken control of the police department. We're told the town will pay the sheriff's department to employ two deputies to work out of the police department. One resident who spoke out believes her business was safer under the old chief.

Many in the town say the firings were unexpected.

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