Lumberton police chief resigns after release of pot-smoking video

Lumberton police chief resigns after release of pot-smoking video
Flynt was suspended with pay last week after WDAM released a video showing Flynt smoking what he implied to be marijuana. (Photo source: WDAM viewer)

LUMBERTON, MS (WDAM) - The Lumberton Board of Aldermen voted to accept the resignation of Police Chief Shane Flynt, effective immediately, during Tuesday's meeting.

"I'm only chief of police in Lumberton that likes to smoke weed," Flynt said while holding a pipe, the video shows.

On Tuesday's agenda was an order by the mayor to terminate Flynt and another order to accept Flynt's resignation. Aldermen also had the option of acting on neither order to keep Flynt as police chief.

Lumberton Mayor Quincy Rogers wanted Flynt fired, but no motion was made by the board.

Rogers said Monday he was thinking of the people of Lumberton when he put the order to terminate Flynt.

"I was just thinking in the public's eye, perception is everything," Rogers said. "We as councilmen, mayors, police whatever the case may be, department heads, we are held to a higher standard."

On Monday, Feb. 19, it was reported that Flynt submitted his resignation as police chief. According to a city official, Flynt was suspended and submitted his resignation, though the resignation was not accepted.

Rogers would not comment on the issue at the time. The Lumberton Police Department also declined to comment, saying it was a personnel matter.

The suspension didn't last long, and a unanimous vote from the board on Feb. 22, put Flynt back on the job.

After WDAM obtained the video, some leaders began speaking.

When we showed Rogers the video, he said he had heard about a video of the chief and that he was told the aldermen had the video, though he later clarified that the aldermen had only seen photos.

We reached out to every board member, but only one, Jonathan Griffith, called us back and agreed to talk. He said he never saw the video and wasn't aware of any board member having seen it either.

After the board and mayor were made aware of the video, Flynt was suspended again, with pay, until the board could take action.

Flynt responded to the video on Facebook, saying there was no excuse for his actions:

Please know that one video , one mistake , does not define the person I am., my moral or ethical values . I made a huge mistake , first of all , I trusted the wrong person , welcomed them in my personal home , they recorded me in a vulnerable state and they planned every minute of it . This person being my wife who is obviously very vindictive. I love serving the town of Lumberton , the people there are like family to me. It saddens my heart that I've disappointed many as well as myself .
Just a thought .. Where would we all be if we all had hidden cameras in our home ? What would our neighbors , preachers , co workers , friends , etc. think of our conversations ? There is no excuse . I pray you all find it in your hearts to show me grace and know that I am truly sorry for this incident.