Candor, NC - Police officers, especially a police chief, must enforce and uphold the law. However, before they can do that, they must take an oath.
Our 2 Wants to Know Investigation discovered Candor's new police chief is already getting a paycheck and doing work and still hasn't taken that oath.
News 2 contacted legal experts all over our area and came across an interesting state law. The law states, "If any officer shall enter on the duties of his office before he executes and delivers to the authority entitled to receive the same the bonds required by law, and qualifies by taking and subscribing and filing in the proper office the oath of office prescribed, he shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor and shall be ejected from his office."
Commissioners voted to hire Johnny Fulp on January 23. WFMY News 2 Reporter Mark Geary filed a Freedom of Information request and received a letter back from the Town of Candor. The letter says, "Johnny Fulp is on the payroll for the Town of Candor effective 1/26/2012."
Fulp still has not been sworn in yet. So, News 2 visited Candor's town attorney Thursday afternoon. Attorney Russ Hollers told News 2 Reporter Mark Geary he had no idea Fulp was on the payroll and said no one from the town had contacted him. Then, Hollers said it was his legal opinion that Fulp should not be working for the town unless he was sworn in. Next, the attorney called city hall and questioned staff members about why and how this all happened.
News 2 asked Mayor Richard Britt about all this and he said he didn't think it was a problem to have Fulp do administrative work for the police department before being sworn in. Later, Britt called Geary and said Hollers had advised him to not allow Fulp to do any work for the city until he is sworn in. Britt said he would follow that advise.
News 2 gave Mayor Britt the opportunity to speak on camera, but he declined.
The state approved Fulp's paperwork late last week and he can be sworn in now. However, so far, he hasn't been sworn in yet because he just had a mild heart attack and is recovering at home.
If you have any information about what is going on in Candor, please email Mark Geary or connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.
WFMY News 2