08/21/12 — Former Mount Olive chief indicted

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Former Mount Olive chief indicted

By Steve Herring
Published in News on August 21, 2012 1:46 PM

Former Mount Olive chief of police Emmett Ballree and his son, Michael, were indicted Monday by a Brunswick County grand jury following a two-month investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation.

Michael Ballree faces one felony count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

Emmett Ballree, who was fired last week from his job as chief of police of Boiling Spring Lakes, faces one felony count of aiding and abetting possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

The firing was the result of a town-led investigation of a separate incident in which Ballree allegedly had an on-duty officer take his son to work at a business outside the town limits.

Boiling Spring Lakes is located just southwest of Wilmington and north of Southport.

Ballree served as Mount Olive police chief for 13 years before resigning in 2007 after town officials alleged he had used a town gas card to buy fuel for his personal vehicles. Ballree was cleared of the charges by a state Department of Justice Training and Standards committee.

The SBI opened its investigation on June 4 at the request of Jon David, district attorney for Bladen, Brunswick and Columbus counties, and Chief Superior Court Judge Ola Lewis.

David said he asked for the inquiry after he was contacted on May 25 about "alleged criminal activity" involving Ballree.

Ballree, in a June 11 email to members of his department, called the allegations "unfounded" and said he had his own "opinion as to what and who" was behind them.