Local News

Investigation Continues in Hillsborough Police Misconduct

Posted May 10, 1998

— Allegations are piling up in Hillsboro after last week's claims of sexual misconduct by town police. Now, there are reports of officers involved in an assault and a fight.

Investigators now say the alleged drunken display of lewd sexual activity by four town officers happened at Hillsborough's Occoneechee Steak House restaurant. They say they have also had a report that at least one officer led a woman inside the police department building after hours for sex.

Other reports have surfaced that allege one officer assaulted a woman, and that two other officers were involved in a brawl recently at the Gatewood House.

Hillsborough Town Manager Eric Peterson responded to the new allegations.

"Those have already been investigated," said Peterson. "One of them involved the sheriff's department here, where they investigated. The other one involved the Hillsborough Police Department, and there was absolutely no involvement whatsoever by Hillsborough police officers, and it's already been investigated by both agencies."

Peterson leads the investigation and says, right now, he has more rumor than fact.

Mayor Horace Johnson went public with the police allegations last week. Some say that didn't help the investigation.

"If you've got an internal investigation, you shouldn't divulge any specifics of the investigation, because that'll jeopardize the quality of information you get, and it makes it more difficult to deal with the situation afterwards," said Peterson.

The investigation should take about two more weeks.

The Hillsborough town board meets on Monday nights. Members say the police investigation will be discussed only in closed session.

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