SBI seals APD evidence room, investigating missing drugs ***UPDATED 2:13 p.m. Thursday***-attachment0

SBI seals APD evidence room, investigat­ing missing drugs ***UPDATED 2:13 p.m. Thursday**­*

The State Bureau of Investigation has sealed, and is investigating, the Asheville Police Department property room due to 397 missing tablets of Oxycodone. The SBI claims the investigation was requested by the Buncombe County District Attorney’s Office, while the APD claims the investigation began internally. Records obtained by Xpress reveal that the APD’s longtime evidence manager was placed under investigative suspension before his resignation earlier this year, though an APD official says “it’s difficult to speculate” if that’s related to the investigation.

City shifts staff in effort to advance social media, community relations-attachment0

City shifts staff in effort to advance social media, community relations

The city of Asheville is shifting staff as part of an effort to improve social media and community relations. Asheville Police Department spokesperson Melissa Williams will move into a general community relations role, including overseeing the city’s blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts, while Lt. Wally Welch will take on public information duties at the APD.

Anarchists march in protest of APD, gentrifica­tion

Chanting “cops, pigs, murderers,” and “smash the state, burn the prisons, anarchy and communism,” about 40 people gathered in Pack Square early this evening to protest police actions (including the arrest of 11 alleged vandals on May 1) and gentrification. The group marched down near the Buncombe County jail and up to Pritchard Park.

Photo by Jerry Nelson

City Hall fraud investigation update ***5:20 p.m.***-attachment0

City Hall fraud investigat­ion update ***5:20 p.m.***

A city spokesperson confirms that Asheville City Council members and the mayor were eligible for a flexible spending program that’s now the target of a fraud investigation, but refuses to reveal which elected officials actually participated. The Asheville Police Department has also issued a statement, and says the Buncombe County District Attorney’s Office and SBI are assisting in the ongoing probe.