Landis town manager, finance officer resign amid SBI embezzlement investigation

LANDIS, N.C. — The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations is investigating after the Landis Police found "substantial evidence" pointing toward possible criminal activity in the town's finances.

Landis Mayor Mike Mahaley said he and members of the Board of Alderman asked the Landis Police Department to begin an investigation following allegations regarding the town's finances.

According to the release, police found "substantial evidence of possible criminal activity."

"This morning, I was surprised and disappointed by findings of the police investigation," Mahaley said.

Mahaley said the police findings led to some dramatic changes.

The North Carolina SBI and the Rowan County District Attorney's Office have now started a "independent criminal investigation" into the situation.

Special Agent in Charge Audria Bridges said the SBI was requested to investigate possible embezzlement involving town officials and to keep the investigation impartial.

Officials said the Town Manager Reed Linn and Town Finance Officer Ginger Gibson have resigned, effectively immediately.

"The Town of Landis is fully committed to ensuring proper governance within the town, and will continue to support the SBI and the District Attorney's investigation," Mahaley said.

Residents said a lot of people in the town are talking and word is traveling fast.

"A little small hometown like this, you figure something like wouldn't go on much, but I guess it happens everywhere," resident Michael Grindstaff said.

"The people I talk to that's what everyone is talking about," resident Kenneth Tutterow said.

There is no word on how much money may be missing or how long the investigation will take.

This is an ongoing investigation. Check back with wsoctv.com for more information.