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Investigators examine United Way checks to Franklin sheriff's office

Posted February 23, 2011

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— The Franklin County finance director has confirmed that part of the state investigation into former sheriff Pat Green is focused on money that was supposed to go toward buying Christmas presents for children.

Green, who has not been charged with any crime, resigned last month a day before the State Bureau of Investigation confirmed it was investigating money missing from the sheriff’s office.

Documents related to the criminal investigation show Green received two checks – one for $5,000 in 2009 and another for $7,000 in 2010 - from the United Way for the Shop with a Cop program. Both checks were cashed and signed by Green and one of his employees.

Records show only a fraction of the money was used for the program.

"We have been told by the sheriff’s office that 26 children were served (in 2010) and each officer was allowed up to $200 for each child. So, one would think that the max expenditure would have been around $5,600," Finance Director Chuck Murray told WRAL News.

"We know United Way gave a check for $7,000 directly to the former sheriff; The county wrote Walmart a check for $2,000 for the program, and the Franklin County Moose Lodge gave $2,500 in cash to the former sheriff. That would total $11,500 received for the program. Receipts we have on hand total $3,546.35," he continued.

The United Way of Franklin County said Wednesday that its procedures were followed correctly.

“Our intent, expectation and hope is that every penny went to those children for Christmas. If it didn't, then a lot of public trust was broken,” Executive Director Kathy Harrelson said in a statement.

A Franklin County judge on Tuesday ordered that nearly 300 pages of e-mails and financial records relating to the investigation be released.

NC Sales Tax Investigators examine United Way checks to Franklin sheriff's office

The documents show that more than $100,000 is missing from the sheriff’s office.

Murray said the sheriff told him the money was used for "a huge federal drug investigation that involved a county commissioner and two senators."

The county and the sheriff's office would not speak about the investigation, but District Attorney Sam Currin said he doubts the federal drug investigation exists and, if it did, he would likely know about it. 

11 Comments

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  • eureka1 Feb 24, 2011

    Why was the Sheriff Department in charge of this project- arent there other agencies in Franklin County better able to identify and serve those less fortunate than the Sheriff Department?

  • outback1967 Feb 24, 2011

    Some one is telling a lie!!!!!

  • gvmntcheese Feb 24, 2011

    the finance director did his job by relaying his findings to the county manager. An experienced manager is the last line of defense before the auditors. An inexperienced county manager is what allowed this to go unchecked and out of control. There is more than one signature on all those checks that were written and noone in the dept questioned that.

  • independentvoter3 Feb 24, 2011

    Murray said the sheriff told him the money was used for "a huge federal drug investigation that involved a county commissioner and two senators."

    And what are the names of the County Commissioner and the 2 Senators?!?
    BlackWolf

    Perhaps we are in fact seeing the result of the investigation beginning to unfold now. Hmmmm.... think about it.

  • independentvoter3 Feb 24, 2011

    The real question is "Where is the FBI!!!"

  • superman Feb 24, 2011

    Where was the finance director when the receipts didnt match up? There are more people involved in this. Money spent demands a receipt to account for the money. The finance director didnt do his job and allowed this to happen. The finance director and the people who were susposed to look after the money ALL need to be fired. Usually takes more than one to be be able to run a scam like this.
    t

  • justafella Feb 23, 2011

    Murray said the sheriff told him the money was used for "a huge federal drug investigation that involved a county commissioner and two senators."

    And what are the names of the County Commissioner and the 2 Senators?!?

  • Gork Feb 23, 2011

    oleguy - witch hunt? There's $100,000 missing and you think this is a witch hunt? Please explain -

  • oleguy Feb 23, 2011

    Witch hunt

  • Robert Blake Feb 23, 2011

    I sincerely hope this investigation goes faster than the embezzling case for the Garner Fire Department.

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