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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  • by Little Mama Location: NC on Jun 26, 2008 at 05:21 AM
    Gary: What page are you on? It is not personality, it is about personnel conflict, big difference there my man.
  • by Gary Location: Jacksonville on Jun 23, 2008 at 01:30 PM
    Who cares? The "department" could not provide 24 hour protection anyway. A lieutenant? A town the size of Belhaven needs a lieutenant? That’s a pretty narrow span of control. Let me get this straight. The chief supervises the lieutenant and the lieutenant supervises the remaining two officers? The council needs to vote to eliminate the police department from the town budget and permanently contract with the Sheriff's Department for the police function. The personality contest would then be over.
  • by Anonymous Location: Belhaven on Apr 26, 2008 at 05:59 PM
    I heard another officer has given his notice. Doesn't it make you wonder why?
  • by kingfisher Location: pamlico beach on Apr 5, 2008 at 05:57 AM
    does the truth hurt ?
  • by Bandanaman Location: Pamlico Beach on Apr 5, 2008 at 04:51 AM
    well welcome to the kingfisher show unlike someone on here i dont think it matters to kingfisher what ANYBODY says about looks like to me he was only taking up you Josh and George ..THANKS KINGFISHER
  • by Anonymous on Apr 4, 2008 at 08:17 PM
    That was a very rude comment Kingfisher directed towards Stacie. I didn't think WITN was supposed to post information which degrades others.

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Thanks for bringing it to our attention, it's been removed.
  • by Stacie Location: Belhaven on Apr 4, 2008 at 03:46 PM
    Kingfisher, I guess you think you have it all figured out about me. Your comment was very rude. I am glad to see you are finally sticking the topic of discussion and not so worried about who I am any longer. I will pray for you too
  • by TOP COP Location: NC on Apr 4, 2008 at 06:28 AM
    Speaking of drugs, if the PD had not had their radar taken away from them they would catch a lot more drunk drivers and drugies. They would catch some of Belhavens more influential drunks and drugies as well. I don't need to name them, they all know who they are. I could be talked into naming them in court if need be. What a joke a PD without radar. Ask your current town administration why the radar is gone. Belhaven you need to wake up :)
  • by Found Location: belhaven on Apr 4, 2008 at 06:11 AM
    A new blog has been created in support of Josh and George. I hope you will take the time to create an account and leave these guys a message of support (it only takes a minute). Thank you to witn for spreading the word, even though not all is in support of the two, atleast this site has given the people a voice, amd that is what is most important.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 4, 2008 at 06:00 AM
    If Adam thinks he can take credit for recent "drug busts" he is sadly mistaken. The Sheriff's office have that honor. And, in no way shape or form does that reflect badly on the two officers that were terminated. Again, it goes back to resources. SO, if recent drug bust is now the reason of the hour for terminating these officers, then they are more desperate to cover their rears than I thought. They must really be getting down to the bottom of the barrel for plausible excuses in the mayors office.

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