Local News

Former Durham magistrate officially out of job

Posted May 26, 2011

— Two complaints against a former Durham County magistrate were dropped Thursday, and he agreed not to seek another magistrate position in North Carolina.

Magistrate Sam Biers submitted a letter of resignation on Tuesday, saying that he had to step down because of "scurrilous and false complaints."

Biers was suspended last month after the Durham County Sheriff's Office accused him of providing a false date of birth on his employment records to hide a criminal history. He accused a clerk of getting his birth date wrong and denied having a criminal record.

Through a Michigan Freedom of Information Act request, WRAL News discovered Biers pleaded guilty to breaking and entering in that state in 1985 and served time in jail.

"The allegation that I intentionally deceived the hiring authority is ludicrous and patently false since legally I have no criminal history," Biers wrote in his resignation letter. "It was all expunged and sealed."

During a court hearing Thursday, Assistant Durham County Attorney Marie Inserra said the county had evidence that Biers also had been convicted of a crime in Nevada and that that crime had never been expunged.

Defense attorney Patrice Walker asserted that Biers had been pardoned in Nevada and that his records were supposed to have been sealed.

The court hearing was to consider two petitions seeking that Biers be removed as magistrate. In addition to the complaint from the sheriff's office, the mother of a student stabbed at Northern High School in March filed a complaint against Biers.

Kenya Newell said Biers didn't take her concerns seriously when she questioned the low bond he set for the student accused of attacking her son.

Newell withdrew her complaint and the county didn't oppose a motion to dismiss the complaint by the sheriff's office after Biers submitted a new resignation letter and promised not to apply for another magistrate position. The new letter didn't include the accusations against Durham County court officials or proclamations of innocence that were in his original letter.


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  • VoiceMatters May 27, 2011

    Maybe Biers can volunteer for real community service, or something in the area of inspirational/motivational speaking for upcoming Criminal Justice students AND other schools around NC.

  • VoiceMatters May 27, 2011

    Not only Karma at work here, but "scurrilous and false complaints" are to be expected.

  • Enigma May 27, 2011

    Ok here's to all you righteous people out there who are casting stones. First off he has just as much right to seek a job as anyone else. His records were expunged and sealed. The reason why they are expunged and sealed is so closed minded people like westernwake1,radartoe,and dfendjimray would not judge him upon his past deeds because after all why give someone the opportunity to make ammends. Also if you sheep believe that what your reading from the press and seeing on tv is the full truth to this story, you better think again! Ask yourself a question why would a guy who's only been on the job for 5 months
    be ran out of office? Oh yeah that's right he filed complaints on a couple of people whom you elected Durham because he believed they acted wrongly. Whistle blowers get villafied all the time.

  • westernwake1 May 26, 2011

    Long overdue!

  • hellorhighwaters May 26, 2011

    This is why I tell young people (teenagers), think about what you are doing before you do it. Cause it may come back to haunt you years later. Look at this man, bet he never dreamed he would become a magistrate years later when he got older and wiser.
    But here it is, 'his past', here to haunt him.

    Hope some young person reads this and learns a lesson from it.
    The wild party...you might want to leave and go home this time.
    Or stay and not know what you did at,during, or after the party.

    You do have a choice!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Rebelyell55 May 26, 2011

    This guy had no business being hired in the 1st place. He's more of crook than the crooks for jimmied sakes.

  • dollibug May 26, 2011

    Another person who is lying about his past....well...I guess this is the "thing" these days.....just lie about it or at least destroy the evidence....so that NO ONE WILL KNOW THE TRUTH...this seems to be a common thing these days...and no one seems to care....sad but true....

  • dfendrjimray May 26, 2011

    Scurrilous and false, eh? Yeah, that's the ticket...