Residents sue Nash County over chicken plant

Posted September 25, 2012

— Two Nash County residents filed suit Tuesday against the county and chicken processor Sanderson Farms Inc., alleging that they improperly used a secret deal to bring a chicken plant to the area.

Sanderson Farms announced last month that it would build a "poultry complex" on 26 acres the company bought in December near the intersection of N.C. Highways 97 and 58, a few miles north of the Nash-Wilson county line.

A year before that, residents Carson Barnes and Clay Strickland allege in their lawsuit, the Nash County Board of Commissioners voted to spend $1.2 million to buy the property to lure Sanderson to the area. The men claim that no notice was given before the vote and no public hearing was held, which violates state law.

“Governmental bodies should conduct the people’s business with transparency and openness,” Kieran Shanahan, a Raleigh lawyer representing the men, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, this deal appears to have been made in a back room, and then pushed through without the required public notice and public hearing.”

The chicken plant has created a bitter battle over the economy and the environment.

Supporters say the plant would create more than 1,000 jobs in an area where the unemployment rate was 12.4 percent in July. Opponents say that the county risks contaminating area water supplies and creating an environmental hazard by allowing the plant to open.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction to stop Sanderson from developing the site and a court order voiding the company's title to the property.

The City of Wilson also has sued to block the proposed plant, alleging that it could threaten the city's drinking water supply.


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  • shemontay Sep 27, 2012

    This has nothing to do with water supply.(BACK room Reasoning)..I dont care what this plant will do for the Nash/Edgecombe job market. "I have a job" says let them find jobs else where or do like they have in the past ...just dont threaten my home far too important for this to happen. LOL..!

  • markevankidd Sep 26, 2012


  • edbuck51 Sep 26, 2012

    this means jobs and tax money for the local community, doesn't it?

  • Half Red Half Blue Sep 26, 2012

    They can put it in my backyard just as long as I get free chicken for life.

  • Half Red Half Blue Sep 26, 2012

    Bring on the jobs and bring on the chicken! We are going to have a BBQ! Those opposed to this plant are not invited and are banned from eating chicken till further notice.

  • storchheim Sep 26, 2012

    Pinball wizard, very astute of you to see that angle. Hope someone pursues it.

  • free2b Sep 26, 2012

    If the shoe fits - "we Nash folks would welcome Raleigh lawyers and Raleigh courts involved. The good ole boy system is alive and well in Nash Co......"

    Well contrary to what you apparently think, you, Mr Barnes and Mr Strickland aren't the only citizens of Nash County and not all us "Nash folks" welcome Raleigh lawyers/courts involved in this. I say this as a resident of southern Nash County. Yes the good ole boy system may be alive and well here in Nash and you have thrown your hat in with some of the biggest ones of the bunch. Some of the ones protesting this so strenuously now weren't against it when they stood to gain from selling their land for the plant, it was only when a different location was chosen that they became such staunch opponents to the idea.

  • Bartmeister Sep 26, 2012

    Oh sure, complain now but don't let me see you at Chick Fil La this weekend................

  • ligonmaterial23 Sep 26, 2012

    Kinda sounds like the deal Boss Hog tried to make when he wanted to strip mine hazard county lol

  • Coolbreeze Sep 26, 2012

    Those who yell no chicken plant the loudest usually do so from the drive thru at KFC of Bogangles....