Wake DA drops charges by indicted private police chief

Joseph Michael Conover
Joseph Michael Conover

Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said Tuesday that her office will dismiss all criminal charges brought in the county by the chief of a private police agency who was indicted by a grand jury on Monday.

Freeman said an initial review showed about 35 pending cases involving charges made by Nova Agency Company Police Chief Joseph Conover.

“We are in the process of pulling them and dismissing them now,” Freeman stated. “We have not prosecuted these cases during the pendency of the investigation.”

The State Bureau of Investigation arrested Conover, 38, late Monday afternoon on Copperleaf Parkway in Durham, near his home, according to arrest records. He was jailed on $2 million bail.

The indictments accused Conover of obstructing justice, two counts of accessing computers, three counts of misdemeanor assault, second-degree kidnapping and three counts of willful failure to discharge duties.

Freeman did not disclose how long he had been under investigation.

Nova contracts primarily with apartment developments and subdivisions to provide security. The company also services stores and industries, according to its website.

Company police are empowered by a state law that places them under the Attorney General’s office and gives them the same powers as municipal police or county sheriff’s deputies.

The company’s website says that Nova began in 1996 in Florida when a residential real estate developer wanted more security than hiring off-duty police provided. It became a separate company in 2001.

It started in North Carolina in 2011.

The company website says that Conover has worked his way up through various jobs in Nova after serving as an Army combat medic and being a certified emergency medical technician.

Nova lists On Point Protection and Global One Protective Services as affiliates.

Ron Gallagher: 919-829-4572, @RPGKT