Local News

Former Court Administrator Faces Allegations Of Drug Use

Posted August 19, 2004

— Lots of questions surround the sudden resignation of the top administrator of North Carolina's courts.

There are accusations John Kennedy used cocaine on the job. Attorney General Roy Cooper has asked the State Bureau of Investigation to look into the matter.

Kennedy has not been charged with a crime and said he never has used cocaine. But the suspicion of drug use cost him his job.

According to Chief Justice Beverly Lake, allegations arose last July that Kennedy -- former director of the state's Administrative Office of the Courts -- might be using cocaine on the job. Lake asked Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison to use a drug sniffing K-9 to investigate.

Harrison said the dog detected something suspicious but "I didn't have enough evidence to say it was anything criminally wrong or anything that would warrant going further with the investigation.

"I just didn't have enough evidence to go on," Harrison said. "So, at that point, I said this is a personnel thing, and I stay out of personnel things."

Based on that, the chief justice called on Kennedy to resign.

WRAL contacted Kennedy's home Wednesday. His daughter said the family has no comment.

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