Local News

Former Franklin County Sheriff returns unused funds

Posted March 18, 2011 5:34 p.m. EDT

— An attorney for former Franklin County Sheriff Pat Green has sent the sheriff's office a check for more than $6,000, which he said were leftover funds from the Shop with the a Cop program Green took part in.

Green, who has not been charged with any crime, resigned last month a day before the State Bureau of Investigation confirmed it was investigating money missing from the sheriff’s office.

Documents related to the criminal investigation show Green received two checks – one for $5,000 in 2009 and another for $7,000 in 2010 - from the United Way for the Shop with a Cop program. Both checks were cashed and signed by Green and one of his employees.

Records show only a fraction of the money was used for the program.

"We have been told by the sheriff’s office that 26 children were served (in 2010) and each officer was allowed up to $200 for each child. So, one would think that the max expenditure would have been around $5,600," Finance Director Chuck Murray told WRAL News.

"We know United Way gave a check for $7,000 directly to the former sheriff; The county wrote Walmart a check for $2,000 for the program, and the Franklin County Moose Lodge gave $2,500 in cash to the former sheriff. That would total $11,500 received for the program. Receipts we have on hand total $3,546.35," he continued.

Along with the check, Green's attorneys also sent a copy of a check stub for $7,000 from the United Way to Green related to the Jail-A-Thon and another stub from Franklin County for $2,000 to Walmart for the Shop with a Cop program. 

Green's attorneys also provided receipts for purchases from Walmart for $69 and Moss' Food for $154, which they said were used for the Shop with a Cop program. 

Nearly 300 pages of e-mails and financial records dating to 2008 were released to the media last month detailing numerous requests by Green for thousands of dollars for what he said were to be used for undercover drug investigations.

According to the documents, Finance Director Chuck Murray said the sheriff told him that "he was working on a huge federal drug investigation that involved a county commissioner and two senators."

The county and sheriff’s office became concerned, according to the documents, after a routine audit in which the auditor suggested better documentation be kept to support transfers of funds.

Other documents show that county officials had been concerned about how internal records were being kept and that some staff suspected Green had been taking money since 2008 that he said was being used for a federal investigation.

The documents also say that when confronted about accounting for the money, Green became upset and resigned Jan. 30 before they could complete their audit.

County commissioners have said that they will not appoint a new sheriff until after the conclusion of the SBI investigation.

Chief Deputy Elliott Pinnell is overseeing operations at the sheriff's office until then.