WPD deputy chief cleared of criminal allegations will retire next week

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

A deputy chief with the Wilmington Police Department has returned to full duty after being cleared of allegations in a larceny case, but will not be serving the agency much longer.

Deputy Chief Marshal Williamson recently announced his retirement and will end his 32-year employment with the police department next week, according to police spokeswoman Linda Rawley.

On April 25, the agency announced that no criminal charges would be filed against Williamson who, according to his attorney Gary Shipman, had been accused of unlawfully using departmental ammunition. Shipman claimed the deputy chief and department firearms instructor has lawfully used “tens of thousands” of rounds of ammunition during his tenure and denied the allegations.

Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous and District Attorney Ben David received a letter from state prosecutor Tammy Smith with the N.C. Conference of District Attorneys’ white collar crime resource unit, that stated criminal charges in the case were “not supported by the evidence.”

David and Evangelous requested the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) investigate the case on April 13. Williamson was named in an official letter from the district attorney’s office requesting that investigation.

According to 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.” Another more recent complaint was submitted to the agency, which prompted an internal affairs investigation within the police department. The agency’s investigation closed a week after the state declined to file criminal charges against Williamson.

Evangelous said the complaint in the case has been addressed appropriately, and action has been taken. He did not elaborate on the action, but released a statement about the case on Monday.

“Anytime you have to call for investigations into the actions of your officers – it’s difficult. This is a stressful time for the officer, their family, our agency and the community at-large. However, the process is necessary in order to maintain trust and integrity,” Evangelous said.

Williamson returned to full duty Monday to perform administrative duties, Rawley said. Williamson, 56, oversees the agency’s Patrol Services Bureau and has a current salary of $115,102. He was hired by the police department in June 1983 and was appointed deputy chief on Jan. 16, 2002. He is scheduled to retire May 16.