Mooresville Police Chief Damon Williams said Wednesday night he is assisting the small-town police force where he once served as chief while he remains on paid administrative leave from the Mooresville Police Department.
And that’s no secret, he said.
“This was not done underhandedly,” Williams said. “This was done to be a help.”
Mooresville Acting Town Manager Ryan Rase placed Williams on paid administrative leave in June after a third-party agency began an investigation into an alleged hostile work environment at the police department.
Williams, who joined the Taylortown Police Department in 2005 and served as its chief from 2007-10, said he knew the department’s current police chief, an old friend, was leaving his position. When the department asked Williams to volunteer his help through the transition and offer his insight and leadership to the three full-time officers on the force, Williams gladly agreed.
“I’ve been police chief a long time and when someone calls and says I need help, I’m going to do the best I can to help them,” Williams said, explaining he is not a sworn officer at Taylortown. His work is strictly volunteer, he said.
Williams said time spent in Taylortown, about two hours southeast of Mooresville, varies based on his responsibilities in Race City.
“I've been trying to help them out as much as I can,” Williams said. “Clearly I have a lot of free time on my hands right now.”
Williams said he spoke with and gained approval from Rase before helping out in Taylortown.
Rase did not return voice mails left Wednesday afternoon on his office and cell phone.
“I’m not trying to hide,” Williams said.
Mooresville spokesperson Kim Sellers said Wednesday Williams remains on paid administrative leave. Sellers directed further questions regarding Williams work in Taylortown to the town itself. She said the hostile work environment investigation, conducted by third-party agency U.S. ISS Agency, of Huntersville, is complete but added the town has not yet received the final report.
In June, Rase estimated Williams could be on paid administrative leave until the end of July or early August when the formal investigation report was expected to be completed. Williams said Wednesday he had not heard from the Town of Mooresville about the outcome of the investigation or its formal report.
Mooresville Commissioner Eddie Dingler said Wednesday the Board of Commissioners has not yet been informed of any details or findings related to the investigation.