DA: Former detective inappropriately investigated fellow officer, secretly recorded phone calls

LINCOLNTON, NC (WBTV) - A former Lincolnton child sex cases detective is back in the spotlight after the District Attorney says he is investigating if he can be used as a credible witness.

Detective Brent Heavner was fired by the Lincolnton Police Department last month and the city will only say that he violated the department's conduct policy.

But now District Attorney Mike Miller is accusing the former detective of inappropriately investigating a fellow officer at the police department.

DA Miller sent a release to WBTV outlining a case where he says Detective Heavner was investigating a fellow officer after finding a post on Craigslists' "Casual Encounters."

Heavner monitored the online site as a part of his undercover investigation into possible child predators.

Miller says Heavner was communicating with the officer online and then later downloaded an unauthorized app on his department-issued cell phone to record phone calls. According to Miller, investigators recovered "hundreds of calls that Det. Heavner intended to delete, but the process was not executed properly."

Heavner accused his fellow officer of trying to engage in sexual activity with an underaged girl, according to Miller, but prosecutors say there is no evidence of that.

The District Attorney's office is looking to see if Heavner did anything that would call into question his credibility as a government witness. If so, it could jeopardize other child sex cases he had been working on.

The City of Lincolnton is required by law to release the detailed reason why Heavner was fired. WBTV's Nick Ochsner has been pushing the city to do that for months, but they have refused. WBTV is working with our lawyers to continue to demand answers.

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