Documents emerge on leave for KDH sergeant
Two of the newer ones center on the case of Sgt. Ed Anderson.
In March, several months before the suit was dismissed, it was revealed that KDH Police Chief Gary Britt’s daughter had been enrolled in Dare County schools. County documents showed that Britt and his wife resided in Currituck County.
The child was registered in Dare County schools using the address of a police officer subordinate to Britt — Anderson, who rented a home in Southern Shores.
When that information became public, the attorney representing the four police officers filing suit began asking for documents from the Dare County school system.
He also wished to depose Anderson.
Unknown to the attorney, on March 7, six days after the school enrollment story appeared on the Internet, Anderson, who had been with the force for just over a year, filed a “Continuance Form” with the court.
The form stated Anderson would be leaving the country from March 25 through Sept. 25 — a six-month leave of absence for a new employee and supervisor over the course of the entire summer tourist season.
Anderson signed the continuance form on his own and also on behalf of his supervisor. The District Attorney and a judge approved it.
Dennis Rose, representing the four plaintiffs, filed a motion to expedite deposing Anderson before he left the country. Their suit had reiterated formal complaints with a Superior Court judge alleging mistreatment by the chief and town administration. An internal investigation by the town had found no intentional wrongdoing after the chief was suspended for several months.
Because some of Rose’s clients had alleged Chief Britt had falsified their personnel files, the officers told the Voice that their attorney wanted to depose Anderson on the question of whether any falsification of documents occurred in the school registration issue.
The attorney for the town and League of Municipalities, Dan Hartzog, Jr., filed a counter-motion to delay deposing Anderson until his leave of absence expired.
Hartzog’s motion stated: “Sgt. Anderson has signed an affidavit stating he has been requested by the United States Department of Justice to begin an assignment which requires him to travel to Afghanistan in connection with a counter narcotics program.”
Hartzog further stated: “Anderson is expected to return to the country September 25”. Hartzog noted the dates of departure were subject to change.
Rose never got to depose Anderson.
On July 17, the case against the town was dismissed in Superior Court by a visiting judge.
In an affidavit that emerged after the case was dismissed, Officer Joe Knight, one of the four plaintiffs in the suit, attests under oath that he saw Anderson shopping in the Kitty Hawk Harris Teeter store on April 5, almost two weeks after the town and its legal counsel argued that Anderson would not be available.
In his affidavit, Knight states he approached Anderson close enough for Knight to confirm his identity and in return, Anderson was aware of Knight’s presence.
The police department later fired Knight, allegedly for “interfering with” Britt’s ability to manage the department.
In an email to the Kill Devil Hills Police Department, where all media questions concerning employees must be directed, we asked through the department’s administration for Anderson to respond to questions about his reported presence in the county after March 25.
Specifically, we asked: “We would like Mr. Anderson to verify if he was in Kitty Hawk on April 5, 2012. We would also like to ask Mr. Anderson if he was in Dare, Currituck, or Hampton Roads Virginia at any time after March 23, 2012 and if so, what dates?”
Anderson did not reply, but Britt did and copied his response to Assistant Town Manager Shawn Murphy, who heads human resources, and Anderson.
Britt did not answer our question concerning Anderson’s whereabouts.
Instead, he told the Voice, “Officer Anderson was on approved leave during the times that you are inquiring about.”
Still unclear is why the town would allow a new supervisor to take a paying job elsewhere and grant a leave during the busiest time of the year for police officers.
And the timing of Anderson’s departure in light of the pending legal action raises more unanswered questions about how the town has handled the police department controversy.
See what people are saying:
Join the discussion: