State News

Former Brunswick sheriff sentenced to 16 months

Posted October 6, 2008 1:51 p.m. EDT
Updated October 6, 2008 4:02 p.m. EDT

— The former sheriff of Brunswick County must serve 16 months in prison and participate in a substance-abuse program for obstructing justice.

U.S. District Judge Earl Britt also sentenced former Sheriff Ronald Hewett on Monday to two years of probation and fined him $10,000.

Hewett was sentenced for obstructing an investigation into complaints from current and former deputies about his corruption and misconduct as a sheriff. Authorities said he had ordered on-duty deputies to perform manual labor at his house and to work on his political campaigns.

He was charged in May after a federal investigation that began in 2006. During the investigation, he told deputies either to assert their Fifth Amendment privilege or to be vague in their answers to a grand jury, authorities said.

Hewett also took away cruisers from deputies he thought were cooperating with the investigation and threatened to fire at least one deputy before he testified to the grand jury, authorities said.

He was suspended from office in March after serving as sheriff for 14 years. He resigned April 15.

He pleaded guilty in June, and the U.S. Attorney's Office asked Friday that he serve the maximum 12 to 18 months.