Release of their records becomes an issue in Mecklenburg sheriff's race

Release of their records becomes an issue in Mecklenburg sheriff's race
(Source: WBTV/File)

CHARLOTTE, NC (Jim Morrill/The Charlotte Observer) - One candidate had three active suspensions by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

One was involved in three incidents, none apparently serious, as a police officer.

And one had no disciplinary record over two decades with the Charlotte Fire Department.

Those are from the public personnel files of Mecklenburg County's three candidates for sheriff. The three are vying in Tuesday's Democratic primary. With no competition in November, the winner is all but assured a four-year term as sheriff.

Antoine Ensley and Sheriff Irwin Carmichael Friday authorized release of their public personnel records. Garry McFadden declined, though CMPD officials had released a portion of his record earlier.

Release of the records had become an issue in the race.

The portion of McFadden's record that was released showed three active suspensions between 1984 and 1999. One, for 30 days, followed a publicized 1988 incident.

According to a news report at the time, McFadden was outside an east Charlotte grocery store when he saw two people with guns leaving the store with a cartful of groceries. Gun drawn, he followed them to their car. A passenger in the car grabbed his wrist as the car took off, dragging him along. Police said shots were fired as the car sped away.

Records don't show the reason for the two other suspensions. McFadden declined to release his full personnel record. The reason, he said, is because opponents will twist it.

"I know the game they're playing," he said Friday. "I'm not playing with them....This is a distraction. This is something they have conjured up."

McFadden, who still works with the police department, said he has remained with the department. He said he even has had Secret Service clearance during presidential visits.

Ensley was with CMPD between 1992 and 2004. Police records show justified use of force in 1993 and 1995. No details were immediately available. A 1995 complaint of neglect of duty was not sustained, according to records.

Ensley left to become chief of police in the town of Fletcher and went on to work for the City of Norfolk. He now works as a human resources manager for the city of Charlotte.

Carmichael worked for the fire department for 26 years before his election as sheriff in 2014. His records contain no disciplinary infractions. Performance reviews generally said he "exceeds expectations."