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Former Port City United employee arrested

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A former Port City United (PCU) employee has been arrested.

Officials with New Hanover County say Courtney McNeil, a mediation specialist, was arrested on Thursday.

(Photo: NHSO)

He was charged with two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, and maintain vehicle/dwelling controlled sub.

In response to the charges, the county has fired McNeil.

This is the second PCU employee to be arrested in recent months.

Back in March, 37-year-old Stephen Barnett, who served as a supervisor for PCU’s Mediation and Outreach team, was charged as an accessory after the fact in a shooting.

The entire mediation and outreach team, including McNeil, had been on administrative leave since March 26th, due to Barnett’s arrest, while the county conducted an in-depth review of the program.

However, the team was temporarily in an approved status starting Thursday, May 9th to assist with PCU’s Mother’s Day event. This approved work status was expected to last three days, until Saturday, May 11th, for the team to assist with the event. However, an administrative decision has been made for the mediation and outreach team to no longer be part of the Mother’s Day event, so the remaining mediation and outreach specialists are back on administrative leave.

An internal review of PCU’s mediation and outreach division was completed this week and will be discussed with the Board of Commissioners in the coming days, according to a press release.

County commissioner Dane Scalise said he does not favor the county continuing its support of the program.

“The data does not show that violence has been reduced as a consequence of Port City United,” Scalise said. “The data does not show that we’ve done anything other than unfortunately have our own employees commit felonious acts that they’ve been charged with crimes for. That’s not okay, that’s actually putting the public more at risk. It’s a dangerous liability to the public. It is time to bring this department to an end.”

Scalise also said that he worries about possible civil liability for the situation with Barnett and any other possible issues with PCU in the future.

Scalise added that he expects this situation to be discussed during the County Commissioner’s budget meeting on Monday.



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