In a letter supporting the termination of former Roanoke Rapids police Chief Bobby Martin, City Manager Kelly Traynham said she had lost confidence in his ability to lead.
Martin did not respond to an opportunity for a name-clearing hearing by the April 25 deadline, Traynham confirmed.
Both Martin and former Captain Jamie Hardy were terminated from their jobs last month — Martin on April 21 and Hardy on April 18.
Their firings are linked to an independent investigation into alleged policy violations conducted by Richardson & Davis Investigative Consulting Group. The results of that investigation are part of Martin and Hardy’s personnel records and are not available for public review.
The city has said the terminations of its top law enforcement were not tied to any criminal investigations.
The letter to Martin was more strongly worded than the one she wrote to Hardy.
“I heard your response and considered the information you provided at your pre-disciplinary conference,” she said in the Martin letter. “Although you dispute some details of the findings made by third-party investigators, the information you provided is not sufficient to change the outcome of my decision.”
She continued, “Based on my observations of your leadership of the police department, along with the findings of the third-party investigators, I have lost confidence in your ability to lead the police department, to supervise your subordinates, to ensure that the investigative activities of the police department are fair and in accordance with the law, and that investigative reports are properly completed and maintained.”
Wrote Traynham: “In addition, based on the discrepancies in the statements made in meetings held with me regarding investigative activities by the police department and your statements to the third-party investigators, I find that you have been insubordinate and failed to work cooperatively with me as the city manager.
“Because of your position of leadership in the city, and the importance of public perception in your ability to lead the police department and that actions taken by the police department are fair and equitable, your actions and failure in properly carrying out your duties rises to the level of detrimental personal conduct which has or may impair the functioning of the city. These issues cannot be properly addressed through lesser disciplinary measures or warnings, which may be used in the discipline of subordinate employees who are not leading the police department.”
The letter continued, “As you know, the police department is subject to strict public scrutiny and demands the highest level of professionalism and ethical behavior by not just its leader, but all of the sworn members of the department. Accordingly, I am upholding the termination of your employment effective the date of this letter.”
Traynham declined to elaborate this morning on the portion of the letter addressing investigative activities by the police department.
The letter confirms that a pre-disciplinary conference was held on April 19 with Traynham and Human Resources Director Christina Caudle.
In that meeting, according to the letter, the discussions centered on issues of misconduct that were contained in an April 4 notice of a pre-disciplinary conference and violations of the city’s personnel policy. “Specifically, we discussed the allegations and findings contained within the report completed by Richardson & Davis Investigative Consulting Group,” the letter said. “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 not affirmatively stated that you wish to have a name-clearing hearing.”
Martin has not decided whether he intends to sue the city.