Model NC Police Officer Fired…For Being Small-Business Owner?

RALEIGH – Seven years ago Eric Tansey joined the Raleigh Police Department; in 2016 Tansey and partners started working on what would become InStill Distilling Co., the first (legal) distillery in Clayton, North Carolina. In 2017 Tansey was police officer of the year, and now in 2019 Tansey has been fired for his ownership in the small business.

From WBTW News13:

“I was fired for simply owning a craft distillery,” Tansey said. “Three years ago, me and two of my friend ventured out to create, or to build, Clayton, North Carolina’s first legal distillery.”

Tansey said had been working on the distillery for three years and told the police department about it from the onset.

“About a week before the soft opening, I was pulled into an office and I was told to resign or be terminated. This came as a huge shock,” he said. “I did not see this coming at all. I asked what I was being terminated for and they said for owning a distillery.”

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Apparently the officer handbook prohibits “any employment involving the sale or handling of alcohol.” Does owning a craft distillery really represent a conflict with duty?

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Regardless, Tansey complains that the department went too far in his treatment and offered accounts of internal tensions in the police department that have them losing officers at a steady clip.

What do you think? Should the officer have lost his job for being part owner in a craft distillery?

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