NC police chief, who is taking new job, has made $21,000 while on leave since November

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CLAYTON, N.C. (WNCN) – A news release issued by the Hendersonville Police Department said Blair Myhand would be its new police chief. It seemed strange considering the Town of Clayton is still investigating Myhand, who is still employed by the town as its chief.

Myhand has been the face of the Clayton Police Department for more than three years. He was quick to take calls and provide information. Over the last several months, things turned contentious. 

“It was pretty clear that my continued relationship with the Town of Clayton was just not something that was going to allowed,” Myhand said over the phone.

As CBS 17 reported back in July, town leaders raised concerns about a private security detail he put at his home. Myhand said there was a credible threat against his home and family. Then, in November, he was placed on paid administrative leave

In a statement, his attorney Edward Schenk III wrote:

After two months of non-disciplinary, administrative leave, we have received no indication that Chief Myhand is personally the subject of any alleged misconduct with respect to any investigation by the Town of Clayton. And we’re confident there is none to find. The Chief has asked the Town for basic information about his leave, Clayton has taken the “ostrich approach,” largely keeping him in the dark. He remains employed, on paid leave.

After being recruited by the Town of Hendersonville, Chief Myhand gladly accepted the position that was offered to him. It was a rigorous recruitment process that included a number of highly qualified candidates. From what we’ve heard, it seems clear he will be welcomed and appreciated in Hendersonville.

I know Chief Myhand has a deep appreciation and affinity for the residents of Clayton, whom he sought to protect and serve at the highest level. We have heard from so many of those residents (in addition to the law enforcement community across NC) supporting him during the past weeks.

Unfortunately, I believe his suspension is another example of a very  (and I stress the word “very”) small number of elected and appointed officials exerting political and personal influence to attempt to damage the reputation of an otherwise highly decorated officer and veteran who has dedicated his life to protecting others. While the residents of Clayton may deserve better from certain among their leadership, I am confident that the Town of Hendersonville has gained an incredible steward of the public’s safety and a builder of trust and community relationships.

Edward Schenk III, attorney for Blair Myhand

“We are trying to bring a resolution to that,” Myhand said. “I feel that this you know really has no merit. It’s just been a personal attack on me.”

CBS 17 called the town, the mayor, and all five council members to follow up. They either didn’t answer or declined to comment on what they called an ongoing investigation. But, perhaps more surprising, they said Myhand is still an employee. 

Myhand said he has not resigned.

“I have not. I’m still getting paid,” he said.

According to public records, Myhand makes just over $126,000. That means he’s made $21,000 while on leave. 

“I’ve not been back to the police department since Nov. 16,” Myhand said.

His first day as Chief of the Hendersonville Police Department is Feb. 15. 

In a statement, Hendersonville City Manager John Connet said:

“I am extremely pleased to announce the hiring of Blair Myhand as the next Hendersonville Police Chief. His skills, training, and experience will be an asset to our community. I had the opportunity to speak to several Clayton community leaders about Blair and they all said he works well with community organizations and is an outstanding leader. He will speak his mind but is willing to compromise and find reasonable solutions to complex problems. He is willing to serve on community boards and is currently serving as the Secretary on the governing board of the local domestic violence shelter. I look forward to welcoming Blair and his wife Nana to our City.”

Hendersonville City Manager John Connet

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