No charges against WPD deputy chief

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Port City Daily file photo.
Port City Daily file photo.

A Wilmington Police Department deputy chief remains on paid leave after state prosecutors said he won’t be charged in an alleged larceny case.

On Monday, the Wilmington Police Department announced that no criminal charges will be filed against Deputy Chief Marshall Williamson. Attorney Gary Shipman says Williamson, a 32-year department veteran who had been accused of unlawfully using departmental ammunition, is looking forward to his “immediate” reinstatement.

The news came to Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous and District Attorney Ben David in a letter from a state prosecutor with the N.C. Conference of District Attorneys. Tammy Smith, a prosecutor with the white collar crime resource unit, wrote in her letter that after a “thorough review” of the case, she decided that criminal charges are “not supported by the evidence.”

On April 13, David and Evangelous requested the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) to investigate an alleged larceny by employee at the Wilmington Police Department. Williamson was named in an official letter from the district attorney’s office requesting the SBI investigation.

According to police spokeswoman Linda Rawley, the police department received a complaint about possible misappropriation of city property in 2014, but the police department “did not find sufficient evidence to launch an internal affairs investigation at that time.”

A more recent complaint submitted to the agency prompted an internal affairs investigation within the police department, Rawley said. All records and documents involved in the case were then submitted to the SBI in their request for assistance, she added.

According to a statement to Port City Daily issued by his attorney, Williamson was alleged to have unlawfully used the department’s ammunition. Shipman claimed that the deputy chief and department firearms instructor has lawfully used “tens of thousands” of rounds of ammunition during his tenure and denied the allegations.

Shimpman, of Shipman & Wright, L.L.P., sent a letter to media on Monday that said;

“Following a thorough review, Deputy Chief Marshall Williamson and I have been informed that the determination has been made that criminal charges are not supported by any of the evidence reviewed by Tammy Smith, while collar crime resource prosecutor for the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys.  While we were confident that an impartial investigation would show that, Deputy Chief Williamson is nevertheless relieved with this conclusion, and anxious to get back to work serving the citizens of the City of Wilmington, precisely as he has done for more than 30 years.  In that regard, Deputy Chief Williamson looks forward to his immediate reinstatement.”

The incident is now being handled as a personnel matter, Rawley said. Williamson, 56, remains on paid administrative leave pending the disposition of the personnel investigation. Williamson oversees the agency’s Patrol Services Bureau. He was hired with the police department in June 1983 and was appointed deputy chief on Jan. 16, 2002. He has a current salary of $115,102.