Local News

3 Franklin Sheriff Employees Under Scrutiny

Posted January 30, 2008 6:37 p.m. EST
Updated January 30, 2008 10:27 p.m. EST

— A Franklin County jailer is under investigation for embezzlement. It is the latest in a string of troubles for employees of the sheriff's department.

“It doesn't bode well with the community when all these things are going on,” Franklin County resident Leslie Riley said.

“It will get you to thinking, but I think Sheriff Green is doing everything he can," Louisburg resident Danny Mitchell said.

Franklin County Sheriff Pat Green inherited a mess when he took office at the end of 2006. He came in on the heels of a helicopter crash that killed a deputy and a questionable deal former Sheriff Jerry Jones made with the pilot.

Green promised he would run the sheriff's department with open and honest communication.

“We wear a badge. We're sworn to take an oath to protect the people and not violate the laws, to enforce the laws and I'm not going to allow people to work for me who violate the law,” Green said.

Green's had his hands full with internal issues this month.

On New Year's Eve, Deputy Crystal Mitchell struck and killed a pedestrian crossing Highway 39. She remains on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into the accident.

Last week, Green fired Deputy Ricky Shearin after a grand jury indicted him. Shearin is accused of stealing guns out of a Louisburg home while on duty.

Recently, the State Bureau of Investigation launched a probe into whether jailer Melanie Allen embezzled funds from a Parent-Teacher Association.

Franklin County commissioners said the recent troubles do not reflect on Green.

“Even though it seems like a trend, I think it's just a series of coincidences that he had nothing to do with,” Franklin County historian Joseph Pearce said.

“Nobody else said being sheriff was going to be fun. You have to take the good with the bad and the bad with the good and just move on,” Green said.

Green plans to have his employees go through ethics training, he said.

Of the three investigations, only Shearin currently faces charges.