Phone call recording prompts investigation

HOPE MILLS ABC11 Eyewitness News has learned Hope Mills Mayor Eddie Dees has a recording of what he's calling some questionable conversations between the town manager and chief of police.

Late Tuesday afternoon, ABC11 received a copy of a letter from Hope Mills Town Manager Randy Beeman addressed to the mayor and town commissioners.

In it he apologizes for parts of conversations he had with Police Chief Robert Hassell that's on a thumb drive that was given to the mayor anonymously through the mail.

Beeman confirmed the mayor let him hear portions of the recorded conversations and recommended he make a written statement to both him and town commissioners.

Beeman says he'll have no comment until he's allowed to hear the tape in its entirety. It's the same response the police chief gave. Even the mayor is keeping pretty tight-lipped about exactly what's on the recordings.

"It's just a serious matter and at this point I have put the tape in a safe place where no one can get their hands on it until such time that I turn it over to the proper authorities to investigate it," Dees said. "That being said its part of an ongoing investigation now, even if I'm the only one investigating it just yet."

The mayor says he plans to turn the thumb drive over to the League of Municipalities for them to look into the matter, because there is some question as to whether the recordings were illegally gathered.

It all comes on the heels of another investigation that's under way after Town Commissioner Tonzie Collins allegedly used the N-word in reference to the police chief.

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