Bobby Martin is no longer chief of police in Roanoke Rapids and Jamie Hardy is no longer the city’s second top-ranking law enforcement officer after their terminations this week.
City Manager Kelly Traynham confirmed this morning that Martin’s termination was effective Friday and Hardy’s was effective Tuesday.
The firings of the city’s top-ranking law enforcement officers come after an independent investigation into alleged policy violations was conducted by the consulting firm of Richardson & Davis Investigative Consulting Group, Traynham said in a statement this morning.
Traynham reaffirmed this morning by phone that the investigation was not centered on criminal matters but violations of internal policies of the city.
She declined to elaborate on the nature of the internal violations and said the consultant’s report is protected under state general statutes.
Martin and Hardy were placed on non-disciplinary administrative leave on March 10 and have since been provided the opportunity to review and respond to the consultant’s report before a final disciplinary decision by the city manager, Traynham said in the statement.
Hardy declined a name-clearing hearing and Martin’s decision for one is pending, the city manager said in the statement.
In Traynham’s termination letter to Hardy, she noted the former captain attended a pre-disciplinary conference on April 13, a meeting which included Human Resources Director Christina Caudle.
The letter, which was requested this morning by rrspin.com, notes the meeting was to discuss “the issues of misconduct described in your notice of (a pre-disciplinary conference dated April 4, 2023).”
The discussion in that meeting revolved around the consultant’s report and its allegations and findings, Traynham said in the letter. “You have reviewed the report and supporting materials regarding the investigation and have been provided with an opportunity to respond to the findings of the report in the PDC with me. You have been provided the opportunity to put forward any reasons why the city of Roanoke Rapids should not terminate your employment and change the course of this action. You have also been provided with an opportunity to respond to the allegations in a (name-clearing hearing) but have declined to do so.”
Traynham said in the letter she heard Hardy’s responses and considered the information he provided. However, she wrote, “You did not present information sufficient to change the outcome of my decision, which is based on the findings of the third-party investigators. Accordingly, I am upholding the termination of your employment effective the date of this letter (April 18).”
Asked this morning if the city expected legal action by Martin or Hardy, Traynham said, “That’s a personal decision they will have to make. With this type of process we try our best to follow the process to ensure fairness and that we didn’t make any procedural errors.”
In the statement Traynham said the city will begin to advertise for the chief position and the investigative captain position.
Effective Friday Captain Gorton Williams has been appointed interim chief and Sergeant Morgan Worrell has been appointed interim captain of the investigative division.