A police chief in North Carolina has been placed on unpaid leave and probation for telling officers about a “clinic” that would issue them a Covid-19 vaccination card without actually receiving the shot, local news outlet Stanly News & Press reported, citing local officials.
According to the report, T.J. Smith, the police chief of Oakboro Town, “violated policies including, fraud, willful acts that endanger the property of others and serving a conflicting interest when he allegedly told officers about the scheme, according to a letter addressed to him from Town Administrator Doug Burgess.”
The vaccine fraud accusations against T.J. Smith come as the Omicron variant is spreading rapidly both in the US and worldwide and health officials scramble to educate the public to get vaccine protection against the highly contagious variant.
In response to the controversy, Smith told the Stanly News & Press that a friend called and told him about a mobile vaccination clinic.
“After I got off the phone with that friend, I called two other officers (not in my department) and passed on information about what was described as a ‘self-vaccination’ clinic,” he said, before adding: “I got one phone call, hung up and made two others. I didn’t sit back and digest the information, ruminate on it, or otherwise give it much thought. I just passed it on.”
Read it on the Stanly News & Press.