The Town of Mooresville has placed Police Chief Damon Williams on paid administrative leave pending results of the ongoing investigation into the police department’s working environment.
The board also voted tonight to increase the contract with US ISS Agency, which is conducting the MPD probe, to an amount not to exceed $225,000.
The action came soon after NAACP representatives addressed board members during public comments at tonight’s town board meeting. One accused the board of violating and/or skirting open meetings laws. Curtis Johnson, president of the NAACP Mooresville-South Iredell NAACP branch, questioned why the town board is “interfering” with the goings-on in the Mooresville Police Department.
Several members of the public also spoke in support of Williams – and against the town placing him on administrative leave. Some made accusations of discrimination and racial disparities inside MPD. One person said policing – for black men, in particular – has improved under the chief.
“If Chief Williams leaves, you haven’t heard the last of us,” former MPD Chaplain William Conrad told the board.
Mooresville resident Princess Adams added: “Whatever the problem is, y’all need to get it together.”
Immediately after the meeting, the town issued a release, saying the chief had been placed on leave today. Here’s the town’s statement:
“On June 3, Police Chief Damon Williams was placed on administrative leave with pay. While state law prevents disclosure of a personnel matter, this action was taken pending the final review of the internal personnel investigation involving the police department that is being conducted by an outside agency. This action is solely a personnel matter and was not based on any allegation or suspicion of criminal activity.”
The town board called for the investigation in February.
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