Mount Gilead Police Chief Cleve Willoughby resigned his position Tue., Apr. 22, amid controversy surrounding a traffic stop last week in Cabarrus County.
The resignation was confirmed at 1:55 p.m. Tuesday by Town Manager Katrina Tatum. No plans for interim leadership were announced.
Concord newspaper the Independent Tribune reported earlier that Willoughby was driving a Mount Gilead town vehicle when he was stopped by a deputy with the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office. The report said dispatchers had received a call reporting erratic driving, and Cabarrus County chief deputy Paul Hunt told the paper alcohol was involved, but “not enough to warrant any charges.”
Still, deputies would not let the chief and another Mount Gilead officer continue, and the Montgomery Herald reports a third officer went to Cabarrus County and retrieved the vehicle, while another person drove Willoughby and the other officer back home.
The Herald identified the other officer as James Lewellan and cited a Cabarrus Sheriff’s Office report that said the pair were on their way home from the veterans hospital when they stopped for dinner and had “a couple of beers with their meal.”
Published reports say Chief Willoughby was suspended after an emergency meeting of commissioners last Thursday night.
It was not immediately clear if an emergency meeting of town commissioners scheduled for 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Mount Gilead Public Library would still be held.