City of Hamlet officials on Wednesday released some details to explain the recent firing of former Hamlet Police Chief John Haywood.
In email correspondence with the Daily Journal on Tuesday, Hamlet Mayor Jeff Smart said he would only be willing to share information regarding the chief’s termination after a written request was submitted. He received that request at the Hamlet City Council meeting on Tuesday night, but then declined to offer any specific information about the decision to send Haywood packing.
To a crowd of residents attending the meeting to question Haywood’s firing, Smart said, “North Carolina General Statute does allow me and (council members) to express why termination takes place. Personally, out of respect for John Haywood, that will not be done … out of respect for him, out of respect for his family, and out of respect for his future employers … If John wants that out, it’s up to him … .”
In direct response to the Daily Journal’s written request for information about Haywood’s fate, Hamlet City Manager Marchell David sent an email to the newspaper on Wednesday afternoon.
According to David, former Chief Haywood was employed by the city just short of 20 years. Haywood was hired in October 1992 and his employment was “terminated” last week, on Sept. 7.
David said he was terminated for “failure in performance of duties” and “misuse and gross negligence in the handling of city funds and property.”
She went on to explain the circumstances.
“These are the events that lead up to the dismissal,” she wrote. “The chief’s approval of the disposition of city property (seized vehicles). The failure to keep accurate records of financial transactions in the police department. The failure to run all financial matters through the proper channels.”
According to David, Haywood was extended the offer to resign but he refused.
Several phone messages left for Haywood by the Daily Journal have gone unanswered.
City officials confirmed the appointment of an interim police chief, Capt. Amery Griffin.