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Five Police Officers Decertified for Summer Sex Scandal in Hillsborough

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DURHAM — TheNorth Carolina Department of Justicesays five Hillsborough Police officers should have their guns and badges taken away because of a summer sex scandal.

TheCriminal Justice Standards Commissionannounced its ruling in the matter Friday morning.

They say the four law enforcement officers' certifications should be revoked for lack of moral character, and the fifth for malfeasance of office.

Hillsborough Mayor Horace Johnson says nothing about the case or the punishment appeals to him.

"It's a betrayal of public trust," he said. "And the citizens themselves, young and old, didn't have that comfort level as far as feeling good about themselves, being out at night and the police department."

Johnson says although justice has come late, he is glad that it is here.

"It wasn't the whole department," he said. "It's just a few instances, one or two viruses in the department that gave everybody else a bad look and a bad feeling. It shot the morale [down] for awhile."

The details shocked just about everybody last spring, when the allegations first surfaced that Hillsborough town officers had sex in police cars, in private cars and in private homes while on duty.

Town Manager Eric Peterson asked the public and the police for time to conduct a thorough investigation.

In June, the town probe found the officers were guilty of sex on the job. Two officers resigned. Five others served out suspensions. Those five are the officers who have now been stripped of their law enforcement certification by the state.

"We made some mistakes along the way. We're going to handle those mistakes. The disciplinary action is going to take place. We're going to handle those and hopefully they're going to learn from their mistakes and we're going to move on," Chief Nathaniel Eubanks said back in June.

Friday morning he told WRAL it is time to get this all behind the department.

Officer Jeffery Harward, Cpl. Bruce Gordon, Detective James Hamlett and Officer Jeffery Shaw resigned Thursday. Lt. Kevin Dean, who was not charged directly with sexual activity, has appealed the decision.

If the appeal is denied, all five law enforcement certifications will be officially revoked in 60 days.

The officers would be without certification for five years minimum.

The five officers make up about one-fifth of Hillsborough's police force; the department is in the midst of re-arranging shifts to cover the gaps.