Local News

Police chief married to registered sex offender

Posted May 29, 2008

— Some town residents are upset that the husband of Interim Police Chief Anita Merritt is a registered sex offender, saying her relationship with a convicted felon is a conflict of interest.

Tyrone Merritt, 36, was convicted in Massachusetts in March 2001 of taking indecent liberties with a child in connection with a May 1999 incident. He was sentenced to probation.

The incident occurred before Anita Merritt married her husband and before she joined the Roseboro Police Department in September 2004.

"Anything that happened to him has no reflection on me or my character or on my job," said Anita Merritt, who was sworn in as police chief Thursday.

"He's made one bad choice in his life, and he's paid his debt to society," she said. "Anyone who knows my husband knows he’s a wonderful man.”

The police department has known about Tyrone Merritt's conviction since his wife joined the force, Mayor Roland Hall said. But he said he first learned of the matter Wednesday while discussing Anita Merritt's salary.

None of the members of the Roseboro Board of Commissioners were aware of the conviction when they unanimously approved promoting Anita Merritt to interim police chief, Hall said. Outgoing Chief Preston Howell didn't mention it because he felt there was no cause for concern, Hall said.

"I think he should have informed the board and myself," Hall said.

Still, the town board has no plans to discuss the matter further, he said.

"The consensus of opinion for those I've talked with is that his record should not adversely impact her ability to do her job," he said. “She has done an excellent job as a police officer in her department, and I have no complaints whatsoever about her performance."

Residents in the town of 1,500 remain split over the issue.

"I still have a problem with it," resident Ann Patterson said. "I just don't think she should be down there."

"We have to look at her. She's the one who has to be police chief," resident Hilda Royal said. "Look how long she’s been here, and it hasn’t affected her performance."

"We all err in life, but I don’t think it’s a problem,” resident Rick Melvin said.


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  • sweetsea May 30, 2008

    Who is this Dr. Dataclerk? Wonderful command of the english language. Definitely not a doctor and probably not much of a dataclerk either. Whew! Our education system is seriously in need of reform.

  • blessed08 May 30, 2008

    what is this world coming too???

  • mom2threecld May 30, 2008

    so, if it was prior her realtionship and police job, it doesn't count??????? i agree, once a sex offender always a sex offe

  • Dr. Dataclerk May 30, 2008

    Once a sex offender always a sex offender. Its just waiting to happen again.

    Thanks for letting us know. Get help.

  • Dr. Dataclerk May 30, 2008

    Have a great weekend everyone.

  • Dr. Dataclerk May 30, 2008

    You know if we would take the time to watch our children all the time then you would not have to worry about sex offender/child molesters ini your neighborhood. The offenders and molesters are watching you the parent and you make it so easy for these slime balls. I see children by themselves in their yards, in the store, walking alone etc. Where are the parents/guardians? Take the time to watch your children for their safety. It only take 1 second to lure your child away.

  • Dr. Dataclerk May 30, 2008

    Now it would be greatly funny if the sheriff lady come arrest all of you that is against her and her husband. Declaration of her character. lol lol

  • Dr. Dataclerk May 30, 2008

    Do you people realize there is a lot of sex-offenders/child molesters that is not even on the register? So, really - who is that living next door to you, across the street, down the street. You see, you really don't know unless its on paper. Its like who is gay living in your community? Same thing. Leave it alone. Do you want someone meddling in your family affairs?

  • Dr. Dataclerk May 30, 2008

    I think people know well enough to have sexual relations with a CHILD!!!!!!!!

    I belive your intention was corrections: I think people know well enough sexual relations NOT to have sexual relations with a child!

    He is probably "wonderful" to her. He do not have to be wonderful to you ordinarly. You know what, leave it alone and clean out your own closets.

  • Dr. Dataclerk May 30, 2008

    Well, she is married to him now. So what are you all suggesting, that she get divorced? I think the community should now back off and keep a watchful eye. The person the snitch is nothing but a busy-body. Wonder whats going on in their life?