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Roanoke Rapids city officials, other than confirming police Chief Bobby Martin and Captain Jamie Hardy have been placed on unpaid administrative leave, declined to discuss the reasons which led to the decision on Friday due to the constraints by state statutes on commenting on personnel issues.

City Attorney Geoffrey Davis said this morning that the issues which led to the decision by City Manager Kelly Traynham center purely around Martin and Hardy and not the entire police force at this time.

There’s no sunset on their leave, Davis said, “It’s a measure where we can get a handle on things before making a long-term decision. Non-disciplinary suspension is part of the city’s personnel policy.”

Martin said via text he was unable to answer any questions at this point. Hardy also said via text he could not discuss the matter.

Following the decision Friday Captain Gorton Williams was named acting police chief and Morgan Worrell was named acting head of the Criminal Investigation Division.

The only thing council members could confirm today was the unpaid leave.

“All I know is they’re on administrative leave and it’s a personnel matter,” Mayor Emery Doughtie said. The mayor said he doesn’t know what happened and had no knowledge of anything prior to the action being taken Friday.

Councilman Wayne Smith said the matter specifically concerning Martin and Hardy was not discussed in closed session prior to Friday’s decision. 

Council does not make hiring or firing decisions other than hiring a city manager and city attorney. 

Smith said at this point council has not been briefed on what occurred that led to Martin and Hardy being placed on administrative leave.