FAIRMONT — Danny Parker has resigned as Fairmont’s head of Public Safety following allegations that he may have misused money at a rescue unit where he previously served as commander, according to Town Manager Linda Vause.
Vause said Parker turned in his resignation on Wednesday.
The State Bureau of Investigation began investigating Parker on May 8 for allegedly misusing funds and credits cards at the South Robeson Rescue Unit. He served as commander of the rescue unit until he became Fairmont’s director of Public Safety in 2010.
The town’s Board of Commissioners will hold a meeting on the matter on Monday that is tentatively scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Vause said much of the meeting may be in closed session as personnel matters will be discussed.
Parker could not be reached for comment this morning. He declined to make a statement when contacted Wednesday. Vause declined to comment on Parker’s resignation.
Parker, who worked for the town for 20 years, has not been accused of misusing any of Fairmont’s money.
Charles Kemp, who served as mayor of the town for eight years, said he is “stunned” by the news of the investigation.
“I believe Chief Danny Parker is a decent man was a good police chief and a good leader,” he said. “As a former government official for this town and a current citizen, I am very hurt and very sad that he is stepping away from his position and Fairmont will feel the negative impact.”
Kemp said he has known Parker since Parker started as a dispatcher with the town at age 17.
“… Danny lived and breathed Fairmont … I don’t think there was a single area of the department he did not give devotion to,” Kemp said.
Erich Hackney, an investigator with the District Attorney’s Office who began the investigation into Parker in April, said if Parker did misuse money, the amount could be “substantial.” Parker is currently the sole target of the SBI’s investigation, a spokesperson said. Hackney has declined to say what prompted the investigation.
Fairmont’s Department of Public Safety encompasses both fire and police. The police division employs about 14 people and the fire division about 27.
David Windom, who was a major and second in command to Parker, recently left his position with the town to join the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office.
The South Robeson Rescue Unit is a volunteer organization based in Fairmont with about a dozen members.