Norlina Police Chief Greg Hughes remains on administrative leave, Mayor Dwight Pearce told the newspaper after Monday night’s Norlina Town Board meeting.

The board did not take action or hold discussion related to his employment status during the meeting. 

Hughes was placed on administrative leave with pay on July 29. Pearce previously reported that the action was taken pending the outcome of an investigation, but did not make further comment due to the confidential nature of the personnel matter.

After Hughes was placed on administrative leave, Officer Keishawn Mayes was named interim police chief.

Hughes was appointed Norlina’s Police Chief in December 2017.

About 40 citizens packed town hall for Monday night’s board meeting, but only three chose to make public comments before the board.

Latarshia Turner-Brothers commended local law enforcement, town officials and the community for their involvement in Saturday’s National Night Out event designed to strengthen community-police partnerships.

Helen Williams questioned the accuracy of her recent water bill after learning about glitches in the computerized system used to track customer water usage.

“If the system is down, how do you guestimate (usage)? If it is wrong, it is not up to us to pay more than we typically pay,” she said.

Williams also questioned police department practices related to patroling for speeding motorists and responding to calls outside town limits. She said she has had no problem with Hughes or Mayes and called Mayes an excellent officer. Williams noted that Taylor Bartholomew, a former police chief, always responded when she needed police help.

Judy Hayes expressed support for Norlina government officials.

“I (want to) give our elected officials support for the hard decisions they have to make,” she said.

Public Works Commissioner Jimmy Overby said that town Public Works Director Blaine Reese was not at the meeting to respond to Williams’ concerns because he was making repairs at a lift station where a tree had fallen. Overby said that he would talk to Reese and contact Williams about what he learned.

Overby told those attending to contact him if they have questions about water bills.

“I don’t blame you for complaining,” he said. “Many people don’t realize that if you have a leak, we can deduct for that.”