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Former Franklin sheriff pleads guilty to embezzlement

Posted August 17, 2012

— Franklin County's former sheriff pleaded guilty Friday to two felony counts of embezzlement and was sentenced to three to five years in prison for taking more than $221,000 from the county.

As part of the plea deal, Pat Green also agreed to re-pay all the money to the county, including approximately $18,000 that will go to the local school system.

That money was repaid Friday, and Green's attorneys asked Superior Court Judge Stephens to consider that when determining a sentence.

Green faced a maximum of 124 months in prison had the case gone to trial.

In a tearful address to the court, the former sheriff, who was highly respected in the community, admitted that he deserves to go to prison for betraying the public's trust.

"The people of this county trusted me and loved me, and I love them," Green said. "Those of you that hate or wish ill will toward me, I can't blame you."

Stephens called the case a prime example of why there is so much public distrust of government.

"Sir, there's no wonder that the average citizen is so cynical of government, because on days like today they have every right to be," Stephens said. "I'm so disheartened."

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper expressed similar sentiments in a statement Friday afternoon.

"Law enforcement and elected officials have a solemn trust with the public that must be upheld," he said. "Our State Bureau of Investigators and our special prosecutors are dedicated to making sure law breakers are held accountable."

Pat Green Former Franklin sheriff pleads guilty to embezzlement

Green resigned last year after the State Bureau of Investigation launched a probe into missing money, $203,000 which had been earmarked for undercover drug buys between October 2007 and December 2010. The rest was drug money, which would have eventually gone to Franklin County Schools, that was taken from the sheriff's office evidence room.

Danny Mayes, an agent with the State Bureau of Investigation, said Green repeatedly requested money from the county finance office for a major drug investigation. Court records indicate Green told county Finance Director Chuck Murray that it involved a county commissioner and two senators.

One day, during a conversation with a sheriff's deputy over a copy machine in the county office, Murray realized there was no drug investigation, Mayes said.

SBI agents later interviewed Green, who admitted to taking as much as $90,000 while in a state of depression following the November 2008 death of his first wife.

Green told the SBI that he also used some of the drug unit money to pay his mortgage and other bills.


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  • smhnraleigh Aug 17, 2012

    He just the only one that got caught....maybe the truth will come once he served his time. Don't know the facts, just the rumor mill fodder.

  • backwards Aug 17, 2012

    Tom Hawley for Franklin County Sheriff!!!! He is a man of integrity and he will be out there on the road working and serving the people instead of sitting in an office. Stop the "Good Ol Boy" politics and put someone in there that will do the job and do it very well.

  • davidgnews Aug 17, 2012

    Will he be in prison with anyone he's arrested and had convicted, or will they plead with the judge for a 'country club' due to safety concerns?

  • Keyboard cat Aug 17, 2012

    Hope the money helped him beat his depression.

  • greg69innc Aug 17, 2012

    I know Mr. Green and his family and they all are wonderful people. I do not know nor do I understand what happeded with Pat but he will serve his time. I know we all lost a lot of respect for the man but that doesnt mean he cant earn it back over time. He faced his crime and punishment and that is more I can say for some folks.

  • piene2 Aug 17, 2012

    "This makes 2 Sheriff's in NC during the past couple of yrs to be convicted for similar crimes. "

    That is because they are the only two caught.

  • nanasix Aug 17, 2012

    This makes 2 Sheriff's in NC during the past couple of yrs to be convicted for similar crimes. Carteret County Sheriff Ralph Thomas retired before his conviction, served his time and is still drawing a pension from our tax dollars. This isn't right and action must be taken to stop it. The same thing happened with the 2nd in command being convicted, retiring, serving time and drawing a retirement. How can the state law makers allow this to continue? Corruption flows through our system, including judges, attorneys, etc. Anyone knowing anything needs to report it to the SBI for a through investigation.

  • whatdowehavehere Aug 17, 2012

    There is so many questions that will not be answered but would be great to know. Like: The time line of the events that took place. Ex. Didn't he start taking the money before his first wife passed away? What was he using the money for? hmmmm He had a very high paying job, and his wife was working too. How is it he CLAIMED he couldn't pay his mortgage? He and Tracey got that property from his Mother and Father in 1995. Who by the way are wonderful people, and his children too. No wonder he didn't want a trial. He's no dummy for listening to his attorney and pleading guilty. At least the taxpayers were saved the cost of court for a long trial. The damage is done to his family, friends, voters, and the citizens that showed him respect because he was the Sheriff.

  • jjordan231179 Aug 17, 2012

    "Ok I have to say something...all of you who wanna talk trash about this man he's already stated that he can't blame you. He knows that he did wrong but you guys really dont know what this family has been and is still going through. I've watched real criminals deny what they did for years and then brag about their lies in jail to other inmates. At least Pat admitted and owned up to what he's done. And whatever everyone thinks they know about his current wife and the personal things about his family. Lets be honest...that's none of anyones business! On top of that, I wonder how much of your personal life was perfect? That being said, maybe you guys should think about it more before you open your mouth. All you know is what the media feeds you. SAMCRO4ever"

    LOL how much did he give you?

  • HisLoVe Aug 17, 2012

    I bet he's only sorry...sorry that he got caught, just like most criminals. He's NO different than those in the prison in Bunn.
    you know what?? anyone can end up in prison. when people become deperate they do things they would not normally do. Be careful how you judge lest you be judged just as harshly.