Letter sheds light on controversial suspension of Waverly PD Chief

By: Terry Harris | Email: Click Here
By: Michael Campbell | Email: Click Here
Posted: Mar. 1, 2018 | 10:00 a.m.

Letter signed by mayor makes no mention of any criminal activity involving suspended chief.

TOWN OF WAVERLY – The Sussex-Surry Dispatch has obtained a copy of the letter of suspension without pay that was sent to Waverly Police Chief Derrick Banks from Waverly Mayor Walter J. Mason dated February 26 of this year.

According to the letter signed by Mason, Banks was placed on suspension without pay effective last Monday, February 26 until “the next town council meeting, which will be held on Tuesday, March 13,” roughly two weeks for allegedly “violating workplace rule / failing to obey a proper direction / insubordination,” with the letter citing Section 13.2 of the town’s personnel policy manual.

In the one-page letter, it is alleged that Banks “violated the Chain of Command by contacting a council member to discuss a conversation” that Mason had with a Waverly Police captain regarding the department. In addition, Banks’ suspension letter further alleges that the chief “raised [his] voice” at Mason during a telephone conversation, adding that Banks was “very rude and insubordinate.”

A copy of the letter that was sent to Waverly Police Chief Derrick Banks from Mayor Walter Mason dated February 26, 2018. The letter alleges Banks violated the town’s personnel policy by “violating the chain of command” and being “very rude,” “insubordinate,” and “[raising his] voice” at Mason during a phone call.

(Sussex-Surry Dispatch image)

The suspension action carried out by Mason appears to have been the result of a unilateral decision by the mayor, as at least two Waverly Town Council members had no prior knowledge of the mayor’s intent.

Waverly Town Councilwoman Barbara Taylor confirmed that an emergency council meeting has been called for Friday at 4 p.m. When asked who called for the meeting and its purpose, Taylor responded, “[Councilman Henry] Thompson and myself,” adding that the meeting was called “so we can find out what’s going on because we don’t know.”

When reached for comment, Chief Banks said that since becoming the Chief of the Waverly Police Department, he has neither been written up nor called before the council, ending with, “How can he go from not even a reprimand to a four week suspension without pay?”

Contrary to rumors and reports being circulated in the community, the letter obtained by The Sussex-Surry Dispatch makes no mention of any criminal activity involving Banks.

Stay with The Sussex-Surry Dispatch for the latest information on this developing story.

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