Mooresville taxpayers are footing the bill for Taylortown, NC to have a police chief, and town board members seemed just as surprised as anyone else to find out about it this week.
Iredell Firewire and the Scoop broke the story Wednesday (on Facebook) that Mooresville Police Chief Damon Williams – currently on paid administrative leave – is also chief of Taylortown, NC.
One person who knew is Acting Town Manager Ryan Rase. He approved the arrangement more than a month ago under the condition Taylortown doesn’t pay Williams since he is still collecting his $101,188 salary from Mooresville while on leave.
In an email to town board members this week, Rase said Williams told him that the position in Taylortown “could possibly lead to a full-time opportunity.”
Williams was chief of Taylortown – a small town about two hours east of Mooresville – from 2005-10, according to his LinkedIn profile.
This isn’t the first time Mooresville has assisted Taylortown. In November 2016, Taylortown’s mayor pro-tem and police chief wrote a letter to Williams, requesting the donation of a marked patrol vehicle. “At this time we have one marked unit for officers to use,” reads the letter, which is included in the town board’s March 20, 2017 board-meeting agenda online. “Recently one of our marked units was totaled in an accident.”
Mooresville’s town board voted in March 2017 to donate to Taylortown a 2010 Dodge Charger that had been taken out of service.
Williams has been Mooresville’s chief since 2016. He was placed on leave in June, four months after the town launched an investigation into the Mooresville Police Department working environment.
Commissioners on Wednesday referred all questions to Rase, who hasn’t responded to a Scoop email sent yesterday.
But in the email to town commissioners this week, he said Williams approached him on July 12 about working for Taylortown. “Chief Williams contacted me and told me that he had been contacted by another small town whose police chief left suddenly and were in need of his services,” Rase wrote.
He said he verified the request through the town’s human resources department. “My thought process was that this would be in the best decision for the town moving forward and also an opportunity to assist another municipality in need.”