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COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Fair Bluff Police Chief Marty Lewis was fired from his job Wednesday evening, according to Mayor Randy Britt. Town clerk Tamika Packer was also fired.
According to Britt, the decision came after town officials held a meeting Wednesday, and Thursday, they will go to Raleigh to meet with state officials to make sure they have followed the proper procedures.
Lewis was arrested inside the town's post office Tuesday afternoon. According to District Attorney Jon David, Lewis made a drug transaction Tuesday while in uniform and on duty. He bonded out of jail late Tuesday evening under a $50,000 bond.
He was charged with:
- conspiring to traffic opium and heroin
- conspiring to traffic cocaine-felony possession of cocaine
- felony delivery of a schedule two control substance
- possession with intent to manufacture sell and deliver schedule two controlled substance
David said authorities started investigating Lewis in October 2011. He said Lewis contacted James Scott, 63, more than a thousand times via phone and text in drug-related conversations over the course of the investigation.
Scott was also arrested Tuesday and was charged with conspiring to traffic opium and heroin.
According to David, Lewis also contacted Packer about drugs more than 5,000 times over the past nine months. The district attorney said Lewis was having relations with Packer, who worked at Town Hall for about a year and a half.
Packer was charged with three counts of conspiring to traffic cocaine or heroin. She has posted a $10,000 bond.
Officials say Packer worked for Fair Bluff for about a year and a half, and prior to that, she was working at the BB&T in the town.
Lewis was taken back into custody Wednesday and was given a new bond of $150,000, which he has since posted.
The judge requested Lewis' passport, and asked that he give back any firearms that belong to the town. Lewis is also banned from going to the police department.
Prosecutors with the District Attorney's Office said Wednesday they believe Lewis staged a gun robbery that took place inside the police department in 2010. Officials say some officers with the Fair Bluff Police Department told the SBI Lewis staged the robbery to help cover-up missing evidence from other drug seizures.
In a report WECT did about the incident in 2010, Lewis said, "This was not done by a regular criminal off the street. Somebody had to have a little knowledge of the building, in my opinion."
Authorities say Lewis also admitted to having narcotics at the police department.
Tuesday night, Randy Britt, the mayor of Fair Bluff talked exclusively with WECT.com about Lewis' arrest.
Britt said he was unaware of the investigation until Batten called him around 4 p.m. and told him Lewis had been arrested.
Britt said he does not know much about the investigation, but it does make him question certain things that have happened - including, a situation involving former Fair Bluff police officer Gregory Campbell. In March, Campbell took a plea after being charged for breaking into Fair Bluff Discount Drug and stealing pain killers.
"In my opinion he got off easy. Many people believe he got off pretty easy. It makes you wonder if, maybe there was something else to it," said Britt.
Lewis is not a stranger to controversy. In 2010, he hired three officers who were not certified by the State's Standard Commission.
According to Britt, there have always been rumors surrounding Lewis, and that's been with the case with many police chiefs the town has hired.
"If you're going to fire someone you need to have a good reason," said Britt. "Plus, you have to think about who will you replace them with. Fair Bluff has had a hard time keeping good police officers."
According to Britt, the town will continue to operate its own police department, but the sheriff's office will help them until the police department gets stable.
Joe Howell is now the temporary acting chief, and Peggy Moore will serve as town clerk.
Since Moore has another job, Town Hall will temporarily only be open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Copyright 2012 WECT. All rights reserved.