Local News

County officials call closed-door meeting in Franklin sheriff probe

Posted February 20, 2011 9:19 p.m. EST
Updated February 21, 2011 7:35 a.m. EST

— Franklin County commissioners called an emergency meeting Sunday afternoon to discuss new developments in the ongoing State Bureau of Investigation probe into missing money at the sheriff's office, county officials said.

Sidney Dunston, chairman of the Board of Commissioners, would not disclose details of the commission's closed-door meeting, but confirmed that it was related to the SBI investigation.

Former Sheriff Pat Green resigned abruptly in January, citing health and personal matters. A day later, WRAL News discovered that a routine audit of the sheriff's office uncovered missing money. An attorney for the sheriff's office said earlier this month that the money was from a county fund earmarked for undercover police work. 

Rep. Glen Bradley, a Republican who serves Franklin County, was at the emergency meeting, but was not included in closed-door discussions.

"I would like to see a little bit more openness," he said.

He added that commissioners were tight-lipped about why the emergency meeting was called.

"I just want to make sure they know that folks are looking at them and keeping an eye so that they tow the line and do what they're supposed to do," Bradley said.

Chief Deputy Elliott Pinnell is overseeing operations at the sheriff's office while county commissioners search for someone to serve the remainder of his term. Commissioners have said that they will not appoint a new sheriff until after the conclusion of the SBI investigation, but were expected to revisit the issue in a meeting Monday.

A judge is expected to decide whether to release documents related to the investigation during a court hearing scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Monday.