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2006 Top Newsmakers: Wake Sheriff's Re-Election

Posted December 26, 2006

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— (Nov. 7) Overcoming an eleventh-hour scandal and a pending lawsuit, Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison was re-elected to another term in office.

Six days before the election, Harrison, a widower, admitted to having an affair with a married Garner woman after the matter was leaked to the media in what Harrison called "politics at its worst." He denied that it was the cause of the marriage's break-up.

Harrison's Democratic challenger, former Sheriff John Baker, who lost the seat by a narrow margin in 2002, denied having anything to do with the release of the news of the affair.

Harrison did come under fire by Baker because of his handling of an incident in which three sheriff's deputies assaulted Robert Wise, of Garner, outside a restaurant in August.

Harrison immediately referred the case to county prosecutors and state investigators but never fired the deputies. They later resigned.

The delay resulted in a civil lawsuit filed against the deputies, Wake County and the Wake County Sheriff's Office.

In mid-December, the deputies were indicted on charges of misdemeanor assault.
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