Local News

Caswell Beach mayor arrested on fraud charges

Posted September 28, 2015 4:55 p.m. EDT

Caswell Beach Mayor Harry Q. Simmons Jr.

— Caswell Beach Mayor Harry Q. Simmons Jr. was arrested Monday afternoon after a Brunswick County grand jury indicted him on 18 felonies, authorities said.

The charges, which include obtaining property by false pretense of $100,000 or more, stem from Simmons' handling of funds for the Brunswick Beaches Consortium, which was set up by area beach towns to work with local, state and federal agencies to monitor and assist with coastal improvement projects.

Simmons headed the group, but questions arose last year regarding how money Caswell Beach chipped in to hire a lobbyist was being spent. Caswell Beach officials stripped him of his mayoral powers when he couldn't account for the money.

Simmons was being held Monday in the Brunswick County jail under a $1 million bond.