Local News

Missing Franklin County money was for undercover work

Posted February 4, 2011 6:13 p.m. EST
Updated February 4, 2011 11:05 p.m. EST

— An undisclosed amount of money missing from the Franklin County Sheriff's Office was from a county fund earmarked for undercover police work, an attorney for the sheriff's office said Friday.

Franklin County Sheriff Pat Green resigned Sunday, one day before the State Bureau of Investigation announced a criminal probe into the missing funds.

Boyd Sturges, a lawyer for the sheriff's office, worked with Green last weekend to draft a letter announcing the resignation. During the process, Sturges noticed Green wasn't himself. 

"I thought he was very depressed. He was very emotional in ways that he was just very nervous," Sturges said. 

Sturges suggested Green check himself into Holly Hill Hospital in Raleigh. 

"I was concerned enough as his friend that I thought that he needed to get some help," Sturges said.

Sturges said he feared Green might harm himself. 

Following his friend's advice, Green checked himself into the hospital for treatment of severe depression last weekend. 

Sturges said Green has been noticeably upset since his wife unexpectedly died of a blood clot in 2008, though he said Green did remarry a few months ago.

It was unclear Friday whether Green remains at Holly Hill.

Green has hired an attorney, who had no comment about the investigation.

Sidney Dunston, chairman of the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, said that Chief Deputy Elliott Pinnell will take over sheriff duties until the SBI investigation is resolved.

It wasn't clear how long the investigation would last.

Sam Currin, the county's district attorney, asked for the investigation. Agents from elsewhere in the state might need to be brought in to handle the investigation because Green had a close relationship with area SBI agents, officials said.

No details of the investigation, such as how much money was missing and how long it had been gone, have been released.

Currin said the missing money was revealed during a routine audit, which has been going on for weeks.