09/02/08 — State won't pursue case against MO's former chief

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State won't pursue case against MO's former chief

By Steve Herring
Published in News on September 2, 2008 1:37 PM

A state Department of Justice committee unanimously ruled Thursday that there was no probable cause to continue the case against former Mount Olive Police Chief Emmett Ballree.

The Probable Cause Committee of the Criminal Justice Training and Standards Commission made its decision following a hearing held at the state Department of Correct-ion Office of Staff Development and Training in Apex.

The case could have lead to the suspension or revocation of Ballree's law enforcement certification.

The complaint stemmed from an incident that occurred while Ballree, who is now chief of police at Boiling Springs Lake near Wilmington, was still head of the Mount Olive Police Department.

Ballree resigned as chief of police in Mount Olive last year after town officials confronted him over allegations that he used a town gas card to purchase gas for his private vehicles. Ballree said he did so because he was using his personal vehicle for police work but chose to resign rather than fight the allegations.

The town did not investigate the complaint after Ballree left.

He had served as chief of police for 13 years.

Thursday's hearing had been scheduled for May 29 but was postponed for three months in order that some unspecified issues be resolved before the case was reviewed.