Local News

County officials call closed-door meeting in Franklin sheriff probe

Posted February 20, 2011
Updated February 21, 2011

— Franklin County commissioners called an emergency meeting Sunday afternoon to discuss new developments in the ongoing State Bureau of Investigation probe into missing money at the sheriff's office, county officials said.

Sidney Dunston, chairman of the Board of Commissioners, would not disclose details of the commission's closed-door meeting, but confirmed that it was related to the SBI investigation.

Former Sheriff Pat Green resigned abruptly in January, citing health and personal matters. A day later, WRAL News discovered that a routine audit of the sheriff's office uncovered missing money. An attorney for the sheriff's office said earlier this month that the money was from a county fund earmarked for undercover police work. 

Franklin County Sheriff's Department Franklin commissioners call emergency meeting

Rep. Glen Bradley, a Republican who serves Franklin County, was at the emergency meeting, but was not included in closed-door discussions.

"I would like to see a little bit more openness," he said.

He added that commissioners were tight-lipped about why the emergency meeting was called.

"I just want to make sure they know that folks are looking at them and keeping an eye so that they tow the line and do what they're supposed to do," Bradley said.

Chief Deputy Elliott Pinnell is overseeing operations at the sheriff's office while county commissioners search for someone to serve the remainder of his term. Commissioners have said that they will not appoint a new sheriff until after the conclusion of the SBI investigation, but were expected to revisit the issue in a meeting Monday.

A judge is expected to decide whether to release documents related to the investigation during a court hearing scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Monday.


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  • TheDude abides... Feb 22, 2011

    Do you folks understand that whoever THEY appoint, we have to deal with for FOUR YEARS.

    This is a NEAR FULL TERM (minus only a couple of months).

    Who cares about a dollar. We want FREE ELECTIONS. This aint Wake County by any means. More like Hazzard...lol

  • Pulling for the Tarheels Feb 22, 2011

    I'm not from there, but a "special election" would be very very costly. Why not appoint the next in charge (Major) until the next actual election (be it May or November) and have those interested run and campaign for the job. The term would only be until his would have been.

  • stopthehaters Feb 21, 2011

    these the same people who railroaded Joe Lynch when he ran for sherif. the only thing that makes no sense is why the repblucans want to hold a special election at taxpayers expense and dint even have a candidate in the last election

  • airbornemonty Feb 21, 2011

    I have always been suspicious of closed door meetings. It always makes me think of the, "If you won't say anything, I won't say anything" or, "If you scratch my back I'll scratch yours" that politicians have always been known for.

  • TheDude abides... Feb 21, 2011

    "Secrecy" provides the perfect venue for rumors and such.

    Unfortunately, "meddling" by outside media is the only way to allow the truth to come to light. We cant allow justice for one and not for all.

    A commitment to virtue and openness by our leaders can be a first step.

  • gvmntcheese Feb 21, 2011

    All of a sudden, these same media sources go to sleep. Can not anyone see a cover-up being perpetrated right before our very eyes? Why would the judge hold off on his decision? THIS INFORMATION BELONGS TO THE CITIZENS JUDGE!

  • depdog34 Feb 21, 2011

    Hold the special election. Give the citizens the right they deserve and elect who they feel is right for the job. Maybe a person that has law enforcement experience and is willing to tackle the hard task of turning the department around and making the citizens feel comfortable and proud of the Sheriff's Office. If you appoint a new Sheriff from within the citizens will get the same ole, same ole. Buisness as usual. Nothing is going to change until someone changes it. The only way for that to happen is new ideas and ways of operating. You won't find that from within.

  • Sherlock Feb 21, 2011

    Did they have the close door because they were afraid that something would come to light about them?

  • mstrspydog Feb 21, 2011

    with all the people slinging stuff around with out knowing the truth,you wonder why you can not get the good ones to stay on the job. you could not pay me to do it again.

  • mjrobb1936 Feb 21, 2011

    Franklin County needs more statewide scrutiny regarding all levels of government.