BELVILLE, N.C.--There was an unexpected surprise at Friday evening's Belville Board of Commissioners meeting.
Mayor Jack Batson turned in his resignation letter, to be effective immediately. Commissioners were meeting about censuring Batson after they say he “misrepresented his position” when he held secret meetings with Leland officials about a possible merger without the board's consent.
Batson was censured last year after commissioners say he created a hostile work environment for a former female employee. A censure acts as a formal reprimand.
Batson did not make an appearance at the meeting Friday evening, leaving board members to explain the letter and continue business as usual. A motion passed for former Mayor Pro Tem Mike Allen to be voted in as the acting Mayor. His position will be effective until the next election.
Chuck Bost was sworn in as the next Mayor Pro Tem. Allen said he and the rest of the board were shocked by the news of Baston's resignation.
"As the new mayor of the town, we're going to keep moving on. It's not going to stop. No government, no entity stops, because one person steps down. It keeps going," said Allen.
News 14 Carolina attempted to reach Batson, but he was unavailable for comment as to why he resigned.