Granville County appoints new sheriff after Brindell Wilkins' suspension
Posted January 7, 2020 4:42 a.m. EST
Updated January 8, 2020 11:26 p.m. EST
Oxford, N.C. — Granville County has appointed a new sheriff while Sheriff Brindell Wilkins, who was suspended in September, is investigated.
Charles R. Noblin Jr. will take the oath of office Wednesday evening, according to a joint statement from the Granville County Board of Commissioners and the Granville County Sheriff’s Office.
Noblin is an 18-year veteran of the Granville County Sheriff’s Office and currently runs the Civil Division, officials said.
Wilkins was suspended in September after he was indicted on two counts of obstruction of justice. He is accused of urging someone in 2014 to kill a deputy he thought was about to expose his alleged use of racially offensive language.
Officials said the appointment of a new sheriff should not be read or judged as a statement to Wilkins' guilt or innocence.
"We wish to remind the public that Brindell B. Wilkins Jr. remains innocent until proven guilty," a statement read. "The actions taken are to insure the continued, effective operation of the Granville County Sheriff’s Office until the ongoing investigations are finished and the legal proceedings against him are concluded."
Wilkins had served as sheriff since 2009 and was re-elected in 2018 to a four-year term at an annual salary of $109,608. Although he has denied any wrongdoing, he agreed to step aside and be suspended with pay until the charges are resolved.
The Granville County Sheriff’s Office also thanked Chief Deputy Sherwood Boyd, who filled in after Wilkins' suspension. Boyd, who is eligible to retire in 2021, was part of the decision to promote Noblin, officials said.
"While Boyd has not made a decision to retire at this time, he believes that the men and women of the Granville County Sheriff’s Office deserve an assurance of continuity for the balance of Wilkins’ unexpired term, which ends in December 2022," the statement read.
Noblin plans to swear Boyd in as his chief deputy.