Cop told colleagues about dodgy clinic giving Covid passes to people not jabbed
A police chief is on unpaid leave after telling colleagues about a dodgy Covid clinic that would give them a vaccination pass even if they were not jabbed.
T.J. Smith, chief of Oakboro Town police in North Carolina, US, has been accused by Town Administrator Doug Burgess of fraud, wilful acts that endanger the property of others and serving a conflicting interest.
Burgess outlined his concerns in a letter to Smith which alleged: "Detrimental personal conduct including notifying law enforcement officers to attend a 'clinic' where they would be able to obtain proof of COVID 19 vaccination cards without being vaccinated."
The letter, released on Tuesday, explained that Smith was put on unpaid leave for two weeks and probation for six months. He has a right to appeal these sanctions.
Burgess' letter came after authorities in Oakboro Town hired Blue Chameleon Investigations to carry out an independent probe into the matter.
Burgess told CNN that the disciplinary actions were based on their findings.
Smith has since made a statement to local news outlet The Stanly News & Press which read: "To make a long story short, in retrospect, I made a mistake.
"A friend called me with some information about a mobile vaccination clinic. It was a busy morning like every other busy morning.
"After I got off the phone with that friend, I called two other officers (not in my department) and passed on information about what was described as a ‘self-vaccination’ clinic.
"I got one phone call, hung up and made two others. I didn’t sit back and digest the information, ruminate on it, or otherwise give it much thought. I just passed it on."
He went on to admit that the whole process sounds "questionable" and that he is "not a doctor".
The incident comes amid concerns from US health officials over the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.
Dr Mandy Cohen, the secretary of North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services, explained earlier this week that the state looks set for 10,000 Covid cases per day at the virus' peak next month.
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