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Hope Mills Commissioners vote to remove fellow commissioner from office

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Tonzie K. Collins, I Tonzie K. Collins, I
HOPE MILLS, N.C. -

Town Commissioners in Hope Mills voted Monday night to remove fellow commissioner Tonzie Collins from his elected position.

A motion to remove Collins from the Board of Commissioners passed 4 to 1, with Collins being the dissenting vote. Mayor Pro Tem Mike Mitchell proposed the motion.

The action to remove Collins from office is not immediate. Town attorney T.C. Morphis said an elected official can only be removed with cause, and it must be proven. Commissioners will now take up that burden during an amotion hearing scheduled for September 12.

In the meantime, Collins will be able to retain an attorney to defend him against the action to remove him from office

While making his motion, Mitchell made reference to concerns the commissioners have about Collins.

"We cannot continue to have town employees walk off the job," Mitchell said.

Town employees have filed more than a dozen complaints about Collins since 2006. The complaints accuse Collins of harassing and intimidating behavior.

Town commissioners also updated a resolution that restricts Collins's activities. The previous resolution banned Collins from non-public areas of town buildings. The update on Monday night also forbids Collins from having any contact with town employees while they are working. The update also authorized police to arrest Collins if he is given two warnings and continues to violate the resolution.

Collins has sued the town to void the resolution. The case will be back in court July 17.

Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon. More>>

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