State News

Spring Lake mayor declares state of emergency

Posted June 23, 2009

— The mayor Spring Lake declared a state of emergency Tuesday, one day after the city manager quit over his role in handling problems at the police department.

The town Board of Aldermen asked Larry Faison for his resignation after a closed meeting Monday night.

According to the proclamation, which was posted to the town Web site, the mayor declared the emergency because of the vacancy and appointed Allen Coats, the town finance director to serve as interim town manager until the next meeting of the Board of Aldermen June 29.

Alderman James O'Garra said the decision was based on Faison's handling of police department issues in the town of more than 8,000 people, The Fayetteville Observer reported Tuesday.

"I feel we've done what the citizens and town wanted to see done," O'Garra said. "I just felt that he had to go."

O'Garra said he didn't think Faison supported Mayor Ethel Clark as she dealt with the scandal and that he didn't oversee the police department.

Two senior police supervisors were indicted on embezzlement, kidnapping and obstruction of justice charges and the town police chief resigned.

Spring Lake's police department was stripped of authority in May by a Cumberland County judge and the district attorney. The department is being probed by the State Bureau of Investigation.

Board members discussed whether they could challenge the decisions made by District Attorney Ed Grannis and Chief District Court Judge Elizabeth Keever. The board also is questioning why it would have to pay the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office to police the town until its police department is revived.

"I don't see anything that's forcing us to give them any money," O'Garra said.

Town Attorney John Jackson said he has been exploring the town's legal options and that there is no precedent for dealing with the situation.

The board also called a special meeting for Monday to vote on a proposal by interim police chief Greg Jarvies, who wants to fire the department's remaining officers and rebuild the department while the sheriff's deputies patrol the town.

Information from: The Fayetteville Observer


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • johnsod27330 Jun 24, 2009

    An article in the Fayetteville paper said the mayor had to declare a state of emergency in order to officially appoint an acting town manager. Now the next thing that needs to happen is the mayor needs to go as well. In previous articles about this subject it stated she was an adamant supporter of the previous chief much to the chagrin of the town manager. Other posters are right, Spring Lake needs new management from top to bottom. This whole situation will surely help with all the new FORSCOM personnel coming to Cumberland County. NOT!!!!!! All those people will now settle in other areas and Spring Lake will sink into oblivion once again.

  • watch out here i come Jun 24, 2009

    Maybe the Mayor thought by Declaring a State of Emergency can get the National Guard to patrol instead of just the Sheriffs Department(that way the State pays for this). Doesn't sound like a Good Situation overall.

  • SME2 Jun 24, 2009

    As well...does anyone outside of Spring Lake even care..other than for entertainment purposes?

  • SME2 Jun 24, 2009

    Just exactly how does a State of Emergency help anything?

    That is probably a formality he had to do, to be able to appoint an interim Town Manager.

  • 1Moms_View Jun 24, 2009

    The whole crew needs to be swept out of Spring Lake. Let the interim police chief rebuild the department. In the meantime, the town should pay the SD for the protection they are giving the town. They had complaints about and knew of the corruption within the police dept for years, yet did nothing. Time to pay the piper.
    The honest, hardworking officers are already known to the chief. If he wants them rehired, he can rehire them as he's rebuilding the department or let all but the one or two good ones go. Either way, until they wipe out the government officials in SL and put someone worthy in office, nothing will change there. Sweeping out the gangs and drug dealers would go a long way to cleaning up the town. Families aren't safe and even the military personnel living within the SL borders aren't safe.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Jun 24, 2009

    Just exactly how does a State of Emergency help anything?

  • didisaythat Jun 24, 2009

    Being that it is an incorporated town they should pay the SO money to patrol the town. They can disban the police dept. and pay what they save to the county. It is a shame that the good police officers are going to loose their job, but that happens. Maybe they can go on with the SO or another police department in the area.

  • tgw Jun 24, 2009

    Next thing you know, she'll call for a crefew. Why not just roll up the streets? This will all play out-all be it-slowly.

    Prayers for the citizens. Hang tough guys.

    PS-If Frank Ballance comes to help you-hang ont your wallet -cause he wants it.

  • LibertarianTechie Jun 24, 2009

    Wow! I hope an election is coming up in November.

  • HighRiskCO Jun 24, 2009

    A State of Emergency? Why on earth did Ms. Clark call for this? Spring Lake still has Police coverage through the Cumberland County Sherriff. So just what justifies her calling a State of Emergency?

    I can see an emergency being called due to the fact Spring Lake doesn’t have competent politicians running our town government and the town needs some qualified, caring NEW leaders.