Candor, NC -- There's a new chief in the town in Candor, just a little more than a month after town commissioners fired the old chief and three other officers without notice or explanation.
During a special meeting Monday night, commissioners hired Johnny Fulp as the new police chief.
Fulp is no stranger to the area and has been in law enforcement for 24 years, he says. He worked previously for the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, but wasn't retained when Sheriff Dempsey Owens took over in December of 2010. Fulp then started a private security business, Statewide Company Police, but left it in December of 2011.
Fulp said he knows the town of Candor has a lot of controversy surrounding it right now. However, he still wants the job.
"I enjoy small town law enforcement," he said. "I've always wanted to get back into the supervision, or chief's role. And I enjoy a challenge."
The town hired Fulp after a short search. Mayor Richard Britt put together a search committee and advertised the job in the Montgomery Herald in late December and early January. Three people applied, but one pulled his name from consideration due to concerns about the job's pay.
The committee interviewed the two remaining candidates and recommended Fulp to the town board. Before Monday night's meeting, Mayor Britt said he hoped hiring a new police chief would ease the controversy firing the four officers created.
Britt said, "We just need to get this town back together. It's been divided since December 12. I hope this will get us in the right direction to get the police department back up to full force and the next hire will come from the chief himself. He will take care of all the hiring from now on."
Fulp will make $32,000 per year and Mayor Britt said that amount is slightly less than the previous chief.
One of the officers fired by the commissioners, Jeremy Blake, was in the audience of Monday night's meeting. Afterwards, he said he still had not received any unemployment benefits and still wanted his job back. A News 2 Investigation revealed Blake and the three other fired officers did not have any formal complaints or disciplinary action taken against them during their time as members of the Candor Police Department.
If you have any information you'd like to share about Candor, email Mark Geary or contact him on Twitter or Facebook.
WFMY News 2