All police operations in Southport, North Carolina, have been suspended following the arrests of a police chief and a lieutenant accused of driving trucks during hours they claimed to be doing police work, according to the Associated Press.
A joint investigation by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the FBI discovered that Chief Gary Smith and Lt. Mike Simmons were reporting for overnight shifts at a local trucking company during hours listed on their department activity reports, according to an SBI statement obtained by ABC News. Both men have been charged with public corruption.
District attorney Jon David had requested an investigation by the SBI into allegations Smith and Simmons were working another job while on duty back in May, the statement said.
“Thousands of officers work countless hours to protect and serve communities across this country, [and] to see these officers tarnish that valiant effort is a disgrace,” John Strong, the special agent in charge of the FBI in North Carolina, said in the SBI statement. “They will be held accountable thanks to the collaborative efforts of the SBI and FBI and we will continue to work together to ensure the public receives the protection they deserve, free from public corruption.”
Smith and Simmons were arrested on Thursday, the same day multiple warrants were executed at the department, town hall and the trucking company, according to the AP.
The website of the Southport Police department lists eight total officers and staff, including Smith and Simmons.
David, the district attorney, told the AP other officers were whistleblowers.
The Brunswisk County Sheriff’s Office was assuming all law-enforcement responsibilities until further notice, Mayor Jerry Dove told WECT-TV.
The investigation is going.