Lan­dis town man­ager, fi­nance of­fi­cer re­sign

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - News - BY WBTV WBTV is a news part­ner of The Char­lotte Ob­server. JoeMarusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak

Long­time Lan­dis Town Man­ager Reed Linn and Gin­ger Gibson, the town fi­nance of­fi­cer, re­signed after a crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion into town fi­nances.

Po­lice un­cov­ered “sub­stan­tial ev­i­dence of pos­si­ble crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity,” Mayor Mike Ma­ha­ley said in a let­ter Thurs­day.

The N.C. State Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion is con­duct­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion at the re­quest of Rowan County District At­tor­ney Brandy Cook.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion is in its early stages, of­fi­cials said. Linn and Gibson re­signed im­me­di­ately.

Mon­day night, Ma­ha­ley said Linn was ex­pected to step down in March. In a let­ter to the Lan­dis Board of Al­der­men, Linn said he was step­ping down to spend­more time with his fam­ily.

“When he sent the let­ter to us, about his re­tire­ment, he men­tioned a loss,” board mem­ber Tommy Garver said. “His wife’s mother passed away re­cently ... and she has been ill for a quite a good time, and I feel he needs this time to be with his fam­ily, sup­port his wife, for the loss in their fam­ily.”

Linn had planned to re­main in his post as the town’s fire chief.

The board went into closed ses­sion, then an­nounced that Po­lice Chief Kenny Isen­hour would take over as in­terim town man­ager.

Dozens of res­i­dents spoke at the meet­ing, many con­cerned about town spend­ing.

Town of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing Ma­ha­ley and town at­tor­ney Rick Lock­lear, down­played the spend­ing con­cerns and the tim­ing of Linn’s de­ci­sion. They said a re­cent Sal­is­bury Post ar­ti­cle that cited con­cerns by the NC Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Com­mis­sion about town fi­nan­cial is­sues was “fake news.”

“There are oth­ers out there snick­er­ing and laugh­ing at us be­cause some­body picked up a let­ter some­where, mis­in­ter­preted it, used it as a spark to di­vide us and turn us against one an­other,” Lock­lear said. “That’s the one thing that we can’t do.”

Ac­cord­ing to the SBI, an un­named third per­son is also be­ing looked at in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

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