Lumberton Police Chief resigns

By HASKEL BURNS,

Lumberton officials are once again on the search for another leader for the Lumberton Police Department after Chief Adam Jones handed in his resignation this week, making him the fourth chief to leave the position in less than two years.

In his resignation letter, Jones said several false allegations had been made against him, but no investigation was conducted and he was never given a reason for the allegations.

“I refuse to be belittled in a professional capacity when my excellent job performance supersedes me,” the letter reads. “I was never written up by my first line supervisor, Mayor Quincy Rogers, nor given a written letter of reprimand by him.

“It has been a pleasure working for the City of Lumberton, and I pray that one day this city can prosper and move forward under the right leadership. Thanks for the opportunity and I wish you all well.”

Ward 3 Alderman Jonathan Griffith said he has been kept out of the loop on the details of Jones’ resignation, but that Jones was given the choice to resign or be terminated. That ultimatum was made unanimously at Tuesday’s board meeting, although Griffith said he was not given all the information pertaining to the matter.

“It seems that everyone had some information that they were saying about stuff that they heard, but I still haven’t received that information, so I’m not privy to what’s really going on,” he said. “For some reason I have been left out of the loop on this situation.

“Unfortunately, when it was brought up, (Jones) for some reason left the meeting, and so he did not make himself available for some questions we had to ask him. From what I understand, he wasn’t told that he was given the option to resign or be terminated until later, because he actually showed up for work Wednesday morning. I believe some time around lunch he was informed."

Sgt. Philipe Ducksworth will serve as interim police chief for the next 30 days, while Lumberton officials review applications for the next chief. In the meantime, some board members have recommended consulting Lamar County Sheriff Danny Rigel for any recommendation for Jones’ replacement.

“It seems so problematic to get a chief, so they were saying maybe he could help with the search and recommendations for the next chief,” Griffith said.

Rogers did not return calls Friday.

The revolving door of Lumberton’s police chief goes back to March of last year, when then-chief Shane Flynt resigned after a video surfaced of him reportedly smoking marijuana. His successor, Carlus Page, was soon after removed as chief and re-classified as a police officer.

Larry Allen was then named chief, but resigned earlier this year. Jones was sworn in as chief in May.