Local News

'Chief's Way or Highway,' Ex-Cadet Says of Alleged Affair

Posted April 2, 2008 6:17 p.m. EDT
Updated April 2, 2008 11:26 p.m. EDT

— A former Rocky Mount police cadet who claims she was forced out of her job after having an affair with the police chief said Wednesday she never meant for the alleged encounter to happen.

"I found myself in a very vulnerable position in my law enforcement career," Shirley Moore said in an exclusive interview with WRAL. "It was either the chief's way or the highway."

Chief John Manley has adamantly denied Moore's claims of an affair and has said Moore left the position of her own accord.

In complaints filed with the City of Rocky Mount and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Moore accuses Manley of giving her the option of resigning or being fired after his wife learned of an alleged Sept. 14 encounter at a Rocky Mount hotel.

Moore said she agreed to meet Manley for dinner at a Rocky Mount steakhouse and that he reserved a room at the adjoining hotel for her to change and freshen up after a day of academy training.

"He was in there waiting for me," she said. "He was in there scantily dressed, pouring drinks. He was drinking, and I never made it to dinner."

As a result of the encounter, Moore said, she became pregnant. She claims Manley paid for an abortion in November.

"When I informed the chief, his immediate response was, 'We're going to have to do something about that,'" Moore said. "I was told to call some clinics and get some estimates."

She said she has documentation to support the claim. She said Manley instructed her to use a false name.

City logs of Manley's office and cell phones, obtained by WRAL through a public records request, show 144 calls between him and Moore from September through February. The calls ranged from early morning to late evening and included 11 on Sept. 14.

Manley said last week that he gives his phone numbers to all police cadets and encourages them to call him with concerns. All the calls, he said, were professional in nature. Moore says most were about the affair.

"He wanted to talk to me to be sure, or feel comfortable, that I wouldn't talk about anything," she said.

Rocky Mount officials won't comment, other than to say they are looking into Moore's claims. Moore said the city now wants her to take a lie-detector test.

"I have no problem giving a polygraph test, whatsoever, but not through anybody that the city of Rocky Mount wants to hire," Moore said.

Manley had no additional comments Wednesday about Moore's claims.

Moore said she was told her complaints to the EEOC, a federal agency, did not meet the agency's criteria for an investigation. She said she plans to file a lawsuit.