Leland police corporal charged with embezzlement, fired from department

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Melissa Jane Hinnant
Melissa Jane Hinnant

A Leland police corporal has been fired from the town’s police department after being charged with embezzling money from a high school booster club.

Melissa Jane Hinnant, 45, of Southport, was terminated from the police department after she was arrested in connection with her alleged involvement in an embezzlement case on Thursday, according to Leland Police Department Lt. Jeremy Humphries.

According to arrest warrants, Hinnant has been charged with six counts of embezzlement. Warrants state Hinnant is charged with embezzling nearly $1,400 in goods and services obtained from the unauthorized use of a Lowes Home Improvement account that belonged to the South Brunswick High School Athletic Booster Club, where she was an officer.

Hinnant was hired with the Leland Police Department on Jan. 5 and earned an annual salary of $41,430, according to Leland Town Manager David Hollis. She was terminated from the police department on Wednesday.

“The Leland Police Department is currently coordinating with the Brunswick County District Attorney’s Office and it appears that no cases will be affected by this incident,” Humphries said.

The investigation is conducted by the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, according to sheriff’s office spokeswoman Emily Flax.

Hinnant was booked at the Brunswick County jail under a $10,000 unsecured bond.