The Candor town commissioner who moved to fire four of five police officers said he did so because the biggest complaint he heard while on the campaign trail was the police department.
Wayne Holyfield spoke exclusively with FOX8's Mitch Carr on Tuesday. Holyfield said he could not go on camera because he is under investigation by the North Carolina Highway Patrol, where he is employed as a trooper.
The firings took place at a Dec. 12 meeting, and Holyfield made the motion right after he was sworn in. Holyfield said he had heard complaints about the police department while going door-to-door during his campaign.
Holyfield had not publicly given a reason for the firings until Tuesday. Several Candor residents had asked Holyfield to give a reason at the two public meetings since the firings.
Holyfield said he wanted a more professional structure in the police department and added the department didn't take complaints seriously. He specifically stated that the department handled complaints with few written records.
Former Candor Police Chief Randy White, who is among the fired officers, said the department took all complaints, written or otherwise, very seriously. None of the complaints had enough evidence to end in disciplinary action, White said.
Holyfield also denied allegations from the fired officers that Johnny and Theresa Lamonds put him up to the firings after a 2009 traffic stop. The Lamonds funded Holyfield's entire campaign, according to campaign finance documents.
Court records showed Lamonds was convicted in district court of communicating threats and resisting an officer. She has appealed both convictions.
The Lamonds' lawyer has also denied the officers' allegations. The couple is currently in a civil suit against the town and has not commented on the case.
Also on Tuesday, Holyfield's grandmother, Patsy Holyfield, 72, was charged with making a bomb threat at J.L. Hosiery, a business owned by the Lamonds.
The threat was made Saturday morning. She has been placed into the Montgomery County Jail, county officials said Tuesday.
Wayne Holyfield said Tuesday Patsy “needs to be evaluated.”