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Hoke County Sheriff Faces Questions Of Mismanagement, Low Morale

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HOKE COUNTY — Trouble is brewing inHoke Countyon Thursday. Accusations are flying that mismanagement by the Sheriff's Department means much-needed road deputies cannot be hired. Now, there is word that deputies already on the job are threatening to walk out.

Sheriff Jim Davis is on the hot seat again. County officials have frozen his budget because he has overspent.

"What our problem is, is the mismanagement of funds and basically that's it," said L.E. McLaughlin, Hoke County Commissioner. "That's my concern that we need to do those things required to bring those things under control."

The freeze means the sheriff cannot hire deputies for the four vacancies he has right now. Sheriff Davis says that is hurting protection for residents.

"I'm sure the county as a whole is concerned about it," said Sheriff Jim Davis. "Four deputy positions frozen means one less deputy on the road on all my shifts."

This is not the only problem Davis has faced since he took the job one year ago.

First, shots were fired into the office of his campaign manager and into the house of the incumbent he defeated. Both sides admitted there was racial tension during the election.

Now, a high-ranking official in his department who asked not to be identified says morale is at an all-time low, and road deputies are on the verge of walking out. Deputies say a walkout has been talked about.

"To my knowledge, five were supposed to walk out, but no such thing that I know of has happened," said Hoke County Sheriff Tammy Britt. "It doesn't concern me.

The sheriff insists he is not aware of any disgruntled employees, and he believes the money problems will be cleared up in the next couple of weeks.

"If there is someone in my office thinking about leaving, they need to talk with me about it, and then we will determine what their basic concerns are about," Davis said.

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John McDonnell, Reporter
David Renner, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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