Amid controversy, APD Chief Bill Hogan announces retirement

Amid controversy, APD Chief Bill Hogan announces retirement-attachment0

On April 18, Asheville Police Department Chief Bill Hogan has announced his retirement, effective May 13. The step comes amid public criticism over his handling of an investigation into missing evidence and the settlement of a sexual harassment lawsuit involving a still-employed APD officer.

“After 36 years in law enforcement, I am looking forward to retirement and a new chapter in my life. I strongly value public service, and I am grateful to have spent a career serving the law enforcement profession,” Hogan said in an official announcement from the city of Asheville. “It has been an honor to serve with the professional and dedicated men and women of the Asheville police department. I have the utmost confidence in the level of service they will continue to provide to the citizens of Asheville.”

The city’s announcement credits Hogan, who took the department’s top spot in 2004, with improving the professionalism of the department, as well as response time and equipment. The announcement notes that during his tenure “the city continued to enjoy lower crime rates than many cities of similar size.”

“We wish Bill well in his retirement and appreciate his service to the city of Asheville,” City Manager Gary Jackson says in the statement. “An announcement about an interim police chief appointment will be made by the end of the month. We will also develop a recruitment plan for a competitive search for a new police chief, including an opportunity for community input.”

However, Hogan has recently been under fire after the State Bureau of Investigation shut down the APD evidence room and began an investigation into missing evidence, including guns, drugs and money. District Attorney Ron Moore publicly criticized the APD leadership at last week’s City Council meeting, saying he was not adequately notified when a partial audit of the evidence room indicated missing items in early March. At that meeting, Hogan said the evidence room issues were due to “one individual who betrayed the trust.” Mayor Terry Bellamy promised that “changes should be made, and will be made,” though she didn’t specify what form those would take.

Due to the investigation, Moore has delayed cases involving APD evidence, and a full audit of the property room is currently under way.

Also last week, the city settled — to the tune of $52,100 — a sexual harassment lawsuit from former APD Office Cherie Byrd involving explicit and racially offensive text messages sent by her then-superior Sgt. Eric Lauffer. The lawsuit alleged that Hogan and city staff ignored Byrd’s complaints. While the APD demoted Lauffer, he remains employed by the department.

— David Forbes, senior news reporter

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17 thoughts on “Amid controversy, APD Chief Bill Hogan announces retirement

  1. Barry Summers

    “We will also develop a recruitment plan for a competitive search for a new police chief, including an opportunity for community input.”

    Let’s hope there’s genuine ‘community input’, and that Gary Jackson listens. Last time in 2004, Jim Westbrook set up an elaborate dog and pony show, parading through the 100 applicants from all over the US, and then went right ahead & hired the good ol boy from a couple towns over, like we all knew he would.

    Bill Hogan was a vast improvement on his predecessor, and I never had much of a problem with him. But I’m glad he’s moving on & we have the chance to hire someone from outside the usual suspects…

  2. The Trolls Troll

    A vast improvement? I was not familiar with Annarino’s antics (I seem to remember him leaking something to the press about a city councilor caught with a prostitute), but can you provide some other examples of his incompetence? He must have been pretty bad if Hogan is considered a vast improvement.

  3. Vote 4 Carl

    We all know who would clean up this town?
    Please cast your vote for Carl Mumpower, a true crime fighter and noble patriot of justice!
    I can dream, can’t I?

  4. The Trolls Troll

    The saddest part of all of this, besides the potential of hundreds of cases getting tossed because of compromised or missing evidence, is that the taxpayers have to foot the bill for Hogan’s pension and benefits.

  5. Where does the buck stop? Who is responsible for oversight on all the recent failures? When the City oversees an entity, public/private partnership or lets a contract and people make a concerted effort to inform the people who let the contract or supervise a City/ private or public partnership, and our officials know of contractual gross non compliance with that contract or management of an entity that should answer to the City, and that official IGNORES that information….what are the consequences?

    Does a contract or partnership mean anything in this town?

    How many more embarressing situations must develop before our ELECTED officials come to realize that something in management /staff is awry? How many two by fours does it take????? How many bucks is it going to cost the citizens before something significant is done to change the direction?

  6. Truth and Rights

    carl mumpower needs to stay far away from any involvement….. his ideas of how things should be are totally whack and way too bias… he belongs in a big city, not Asheville! vote for anyone but him!

  7. ironhead

    Hogan did the right thing. Good for him.

    As for city officials ignoring their own rules, well, hey, it’s a national trend.

  8. Barry Summers

    Happy to still be weighing on your mind, Unaffiliated Egotist. Let’s keep it that way.

    Thank God. This topic is finally about Tim Peck(1).

  9. SocialLifeAvl

    Good riddance is right! IT’S TIME FOR CHANGE and yes I’m screaming in all caps. If we are gonna move forward and into what the future holds, we must get a chief that is forward thinking. Also, we need a chief that will guide a force that’s concerned for all communities and races. No more good ol boys. we don’t need anyone to lead with a fist hand. What crime in Asheville? It was less than 5 murders last year. It’s damn safe here. We need someone to bring the community TOGETHER, not separate it!

  10. Concerned

    In order to conduct an audit in NC you must be registered with the NC Board of Accountancy. Does anyone find it strange that Blueline Systems and Services is not listed or licensed, yet we are paying them $175,000 to audit the APD? They also do not have a website that I have found. Is something fishy going on there?

  11. whybother?

    Ron Moore is the LAST person who should be calling out anyone for incompetence/ corruption!

    Moore’s days are numbered- withholding evidence in a murder case is the worst of the worst. He should not pass go and immediately share a “room” with Bobby Medford!

    I’ve had to deal with Moore, unfortunately, and he and his dark shadow Dreher are the nastiest people in town, rude and dismissive to victims of serious crime.

    Asheville Police Department AND the Buncombe County Sheriff are certainly not innocent of systematic wrongdoing but they are all corrupt and have run this town for far too long!

    May the entire lot of them rot and get exactly what they deserve.

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