Veteran Elizabeth City State University Officer Fired

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by Associated Press

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. — The upheaval on the Elizabeth City State University police force continues after the university fired its most veteran officer.

The Daily Advance of Elizabeth City reports that university officials won’t say why Public Safety Officer Anton Thomas was fired or provide a copy of his dismissal letter.

Thomas worked with the university police for 18 years. He was fired last week after he had been suspended, then demoted from sergeant to public safety officer for unspecified disciplinary reasons.

Thomas’ firing is the latest problem with the university police force. The State Bureau of Investigation is reviewing how the school reported crime after a different investigation into witness intimidation and obstruction of justice after a student said she was sexually assaulted by a dormitory security officer.

Thomas was suspended in April, right around the time the SBI investigation began and on the same day ECSU Police Chief Sam Beamon was suspended. Beamon later resigned.

The university refused to talk about whether Thomas’ firing was related to the SBI probe, saying it would not be fair because Thomas can still file a grievance and ask to get his job back.

“Under state law, the dismissal letter becomes a public record once the final agency decision is reached, and that only occurs after the internal grievance rights have been exhausted or the time for filing a grievance has expired,” university Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement William Smith said.

ECSU is also dealing with a backlog of 120 criminal complaints that were not investigated properly over the past decade. Elizabeth City police are reviewing those cases.

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