OAKBORO, N.C. — A North Carolina police chief has been put on unpaid leave after directing officers to a fraudulent vaccine clinic that would provide bogus vaccination cards. Chief T.J. Smith was put on two weeks of unpaid leave and will then be required to serve six month of probation, according to the Daily Mail.
Smith directed his officers to a clinic that reportedly gave patients a syringe filled with the vaccine and would be told to go into a bathroom to self inject or dispose of the contents.
The chief denied knowledge of the alleged fake vaccine clinic but admitted that he should have been more skeptical of the ‘self-vaccination’ clinic.
“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,” Smith wrote in a written statement to WMBF.
“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.”
“Having the benefit of hindsight now, it is obvious the entire process sounds questionable. I didn’t post it on social media, and I didn’t really sit back and think hard on it at that moment. It was just one person sharing the word with another.”
Oakboro Town Administrator Doug Burgess drafted a letter to Smith stating that he committed ‘fraud’ and participated in ‘willful acts that endanger the property of others’ for directing officers to go to a mobile vaccine clinic where they could get a vaccine card without being inoculated.
Oakboro is approximately 50 miles east of Charlotte.
Captain Craig Richards will serve as chief while Smith is on leave.