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Former probation chief defends service award

Posted April 22, 2009

— The former chief of the state's troubled probation system said Wednesday he feels he is under scrutiny after receiving one of North Carolina's most prestigious awards.

The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is the highest honor bestowed upon a civilian by the governor for extraordinary service to the state.

Former probation chief defends service award Former probation chief defends service award

Former Gov. Mike Easley approved the award for Robert Guy, who served 11 years as the director of the state Division of Community Corrections and more than 30 in the state's probation system. He retired in January prior to Gov. Beverly Perdue taking office.

"I was truly shocked but very honored that I received the award after 31 years of public service," Guy said.

His leadership came into question last year following the slayings of Eve Carson, the student body president at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and Duke University graduate student Abhijit Mahato.

One suspect in both slayings and a second suspect in Carson's death were on probation at the time of the killings, but their probation officers failed to keep close tabs on them.

Guy said reporters are calling about the award, some questioning its validity. He said he now feels forced to defend himself even though he had no hand in the process of receiving the award.

Senate Minority Leader Phil Berger said he wonders if the timing of the award sends the right message.

"It needs to be a situation when it's appropriate for a person to be honored in some way," Berger, R-Rockingham, said.

Guy did work his way up the ranks. He's received numerous national awards and helped start programs like the Violent Fugitive Task Force.

"At that retirement luncheon, 300-plus people hugged my neck and that meant a lot," he said.

While he acknowledges mistakes, he said the award helps him remember the accomplishments.

"I want to hold my head high," he said.

Sen. Tony Rand, D-Cumberland, who presented the award at Guy's retirement, said that although he did not nominate Guy for the award, he was honored to make the presentation.

He said Guy worked for the state for a long time and was highly regarded nationally.


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  • OneWarnin Apr 24, 2009

    I think if Guys service is viewed on the basis of how much crime was committed by those he (his department) was supposed to be monitoring and controlling the you have to question the award. The fact is that the vast majority of the crime was committed in the black community. We all know the media doesn't care how many black people are killed. No one ever seemed to look into the failures of Guy's department until a white girl was brutally murdered. You can't blame Guy for all of it, our drive by media never bothered to let anyone know what was going on until after over 500 murders were committed by parolees.

  • OMG52 Apr 23, 2009

    MANY, MANY have done worse!!!

  • OMG52 Apr 23, 2009

    Mr. Guy, although I did not work with you, I have worked with the state a little over 5 years and the last 1 1/2 at DOC. I do not feel that give you the award is a slap in the face of DOC.

    Hold your head up and walk tall. You did the best you could do with the tools you had to work with at the time!!

  • harrisonk Apr 23, 2009

    This award is commonly given to state employees upon their retirement from state service, especially if they served for long period of time. Director of an agency or the usual peon, it doesn't matter. Guy made mistakes, DCC overall has made mistakes, but give him a break. He served the state and did some good things too. Leave him alone.

  • Sweetgrl3 Apr 23, 2009

    This is a slap in the face to DOC! This man is a joke and has aways been. He has NO heart! Now I see why Easley is gone. Gov. Perdue sure didn't give it to him. And now look at Easley troubles. The whole administration has done nothing but cause problems. !!!!!!

  • dcblackburn1963 Apr 22, 2009

    why does the press continue to hound this man who gave over 30 years of his life to the state of north carolina? if you really knew this mans heart, you would hold him in the highest reguard!