Rowland mayor resigns

By Mike Gellatly -

James Hampton

ROWLAND — A special meeting of the Rowland Board of Commissioners will be held on Tuesday after the town’s mayor resigned unexpectedly.

James Hampton, 53, handed in a letter of resignation to the town on Friday, citing personal reasons for his departure, according to Town Clerk David Townsend.

Hampton came to The Robesonian’s office today and said his resignation came about because the police department refused to take a report when he said he was the victim of a burglary.

Rowland Police Chief John Reaves denies the allegation.

“He’s given you false information,” Reaves said. “He didn’t stay around long enough to file a report.”

Reaves said that Hampton came to his department to file a report, saying that someone had broken into his home with a key. However, before a formal report could be made, he said Hampton left the department.

Reaves expressed concern for Hampton’s health and his hope that family members would step in.

“He really needs help, he has some problems,” Reaves said.

Hampton won a tight race for the mayor’s seat in November 2015 over then incumbent Doris Elizabeth Hunt. He was sworn in to a four-year term as mayor in December 2015.

The meeting, which will be at 5 Rowland Town Hall, will focus on accepting the resignation and what steps will be taken, according to Townsend. Commissioner Marvin C. Shooter, who serves as mayor pro tem, is expected to lead the meeting.

Hampton has had his troubles since beginning his term as mayor. In February 2016 the mayor was arrested on two counts of misdemeanor simple assault. Those two cases are set for April court dates, according to records.

Hampton was convicted of armed robbery in 1983 and served almost 10 years in prison in New York. According to New York State Department of Corrections records, he has also been convicted of burglary and grand larceny. Since his release from prison and completion of parole, he has worked to have his rights restored, including the right to vote and run for office.

In 2003 he was convicted of violating a protective order in Mecklenburg County, according to North Carolina Department of Public Safety records. He served probation for that offense.

James Hampton Hampton

By Mike Gellatly

Reach Mike Gellatly at 910-816-1989 or via Twitter @MikeGellatly

Reach Mike Gellatly at 910-816-1989 or via Twitter @MikeGellatly

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