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Pineville councilman censured for workplace misconduct

les gladden.png
Town of Pineville
Pineville Councilman Les Gladden.

The Pineville Town Council voted Tuesday to censure Councilman Leslie "Les" Gladden due to misconduct surrounding police officers after a third-party investigation revealed Gladden created hostile conditions for officers and acted outside the scope of his duties.

The investigation, launched in June by the US ISS Agency, LLC, included interviews with 30 current and/or former town employees, including Gladden.

The investigation's findings concluded that Gladden's misconduct included inappropriate engagement and intimidation of staff, attempted influence over official actions and interference with personnel management, according to the town's summary of the probe.

The Town Council said that Gladden's behavior "was egregious in nature" and "created an atmosphere of intimidation."

Gladden is now forbidden from entering the Pineville Police Department unless under supervision or using disparaging language about the police department and its officers. He is also prohibited from communicating with all town employees with the exception of the town manager.

These conditions are in effect for the rest of Gladden's current term, which is another year.

The Town Council stated that if the terms of the censures are violated, it will take the necessary steps to remove Gladden from office.

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Layna Hong is a digital producer at WFAE. She is a graduate from UNC Chapel Hill's Hussman School of Journalism and Media, where she concentrated in graphic design and reporting.