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Taylortown Turmoil: Police Chief Says Mayor Wants Him Out

Posted March 6, 2007

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— The police chief of the small Moore County town of Taylortown says he believes the mayor, arrested by other law enforcement agents last month, is out to fire him.

The mayor, arrested by the State Bureau of Investigation Feb. 22 on misdemeanor charges that he violated state laws barring public officers or employees benefiting from public contracts and mayors and councilmen acting as managers, isn’t speaking to reporters.

It is not a happy time in the small community adjacent to Pinehurst.

Mayor Ulysses S.G. Barrett Jr., mayor for 14 years, is accused of receiving thousands of dollars in taxpayer money for contracts he had with the town. He remains in office, however.

Police Chief Timothy Blakeley is able to show instances where the contracts with Barrett seem not to have worked to the town’s advantage.

"There's the crack," the chief said as he showed a broken wall in the public works building that stands empty and without power. The town paid Barrett more than $57,000 to do the job.

A public dumpster site, built for $4,000, has never been used.

"There's approximately, over a six-year period, about $170,000 been going to the mayor," Blakeley said.

A state statute forbids public officials from directly benefiting from public contracts they administer. Barrett got a warning from the state treasurer in 2002, to which the mayor replied that he "was unaware" of the law.

Barrett wrote that his own town council had adopted a policy preventing a public official from entering into a contract with the town, but in November 2005, Barrett hand-wrote a contract with the town to refurbish an old house on Main Street that town owns. His estimate was more than $29,000.

The chief says the council was aware of the contracts.

"There have been repeated meetings where the mayor has assured the town that everything he did was perfectly legal," Blakeley said.

Blakeley took the job of chief in 2003. Now he believes the mayor is out to fire him.

"He also made the statement he did not trust me, did not trust law enforcement officers in general, and would not ride in the same car with me," the chief said.

WRAL called the mayor on his cell phone, but got no answer. The council’s mayor pro tem said last week that Barrett refuses to speak with the media.

An independent audit of Taylortown's finances for fiscal 2006 turned up some questionable practices, and Moore County authorities asked the SBI to investigate.

5 Comments

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  • Lizard Paw Mar 7, 2007

    Wait for the audit. Then you'll see what he really took.

    If it is dirty enough the State will do away with Taylortown.

  • patriot4liberty Mar 7, 2007

    GRAFT

  • RDUTEC Mar 7, 2007

    State and Federal law prohibits this sort of activity. Any law that the town passes would be over rulled by state and federal law. Plain and Simple. There hasn't been a trial yet, or to my knowledge a hearing. What we are hearing here, (which has a tendency to be one sided) would indicate that the mayor is participating or instigating illegal practices. Getting rid of the police chief would only put the burden of enforcing the law on the next chief, even if he or she was a puppet of the mayor, the responsibility would still be to enforce the law.

  • georgewilson11 Mar 7, 2007

    Mayour " Usless Barrett " is a thief and will be found guilty as such ! I don't know or care what ttc did to get the PC Bryan Mims to remove waterboy's comments but this whole thing looks like a BLACK COVERUP !

  • ttc248 Mar 6, 2007

    You're not very bright waterboy. And neither are you funny. This is situation is no different than any other public official violating public laws. No one needs marching. The legal system will follow its process and the outcome will be public knowledge. For, I believe that somewhere between the charges made and the media trial, there will be some truth uncovered in the courts.