Judge dismisses complaints against chief, KDH
The officers had complained about personnel irregularities, touching off a series of court actions, the non-disciplinary suspension of Chief Gary Britt and a public controversy over the management of the police department.
Three of the officers have left the department and the fourth was moved to animal control.
Visiting Superior Court Judge Henry W. Hight Jr. dismissed the complaints contained in a civil suit, but his order explaining his decision has not yet been filed.
When contacted by the Voice, Dan Hartzog, who is representing the Town of Kill Devil Hills in the matter, and Dennis Rose, the attorney for the plaintiffs, said they did not want to comment until Hight’s order is filed.
Named in the suit were the town, Town Manager Debora Diaz, Assistant Town Manager Shawn Murphy and Britt.
Andrew Ennis, Joseph Knight, David Shane Allen and Robert Booth had previously filed complaints with Superior Court Judge Jerry Tillett alleging wrongful termination, alteration of personnel files, favoritism and assignment of quotas. The same assertions were also the basis of their civil suit.
Booth was previously terminated from the department, and Allen was allowed to resign after the department originally informed him he was to be fired.
Ennis and Knight were suspended May 29 after Britt filed a complaint that they were interfering with his administration of the police department.
Following an internal investigation, the town held a disciplinary meeting that resulted in Knight’s termination. Ennis was transferred to animal control.
Britt was put on non-disciplinary suspension last October after the town received word that District Attorney Frank Parrish intended to file a petition to have him removed. Parrish’s petition outlined points similar to those in complaints filed with Tillett by the four officers.
The town conducted an internal investigation in conjunction with the North Carolina League of Municipalities, its insurance underwriter. It concluded the Britt was involved in no intentional wrongdoing but needed to work on his management skills.
Parrish never filed the petition, and Britt returned to his job in December.
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