Former SBI agent confesses to removing, discarding political banner

Former SBI agent confesses to removing, discarding political banner
A campaign banner for then-Pender County Sheriff candidate Joe Cina was stolen on April 27. (Source: WECT)

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A former State Bureau of Investigation agent recently confessed to removing and discarding a campaign sign a week before the primary election earlier this year. The SBI later fired the agent after he admitted to lying to authorities investigating the theft, the agent’s termination letter reveals.

Jay Scott Floyd pleaded guilty on Oct. 12 to misdemeanor littering not > 15 lbs, according to the Pender County District Attorney’s Office. Judge Tanya Wallace ordered Floyd pay a fine of $200, $205 in court costs, and complete 50 hours of community service. He was originally indicted on May 29 on charges of misdemeanor larceny and intentionally littering in the April 27 theft of then-Pender County Sheriff candidate Joe Cina’s campaign banner. Cina, one of seven Republican candidates vying for the role, lost to Alan Cutler in the primary election.

Former SBI agent confesses to removing, discarding political banner

Floyd was fired on June 28 based on “Unacceptable Personal Conduct,” according to the SBI.

According to the letter, after removing the banner Floyd was pulled over by a Pender County deputy for driving approximately 90 mph.

“When the deputy questioned you about the removal of the banner, you denied any involvement.” The document reads. “Later that night, two Pender County investigators again questioned you about the removal of the banner at your home. You again denied taking the banner.”

Floyd did, however, consent to a search of his Jeep, according to the letter, during which investigators found a zip-tie similar to the zip-ties attached to the campaign banner in the passenger seat.

“When the investigators asked you about the zip-tie, you again provided untruthful information stating the zip-tie was from your boat,” the letter states.

When contacted by a detective the next day, Floyd admitted he removed the banner because he “thought it violated (his) homeowners’ association rules,” according to the letter. He later admitted to discarding the banner and lying to investigators during an internal investigation.

Around two weeks after Floyd’s arrest, District Attorney Ben David notified the SBI that his office would “no longer be able to use Mr. Floyd as a witness for the State of North Carolina in any criminal or traffic case” because of his conduct.

The “burden of the State having to disclose this conduct each time Mr. Floyd is called as a State witness, having the defense attorney use evidence of his conduct to attack his testimony, and then attempting to rehabilitate him in front of a judge and/or jury by convincing them that his testimony is both truthful and without bias is simply insurmountable,” David wrote to the SBI in a June 11 letter.

“The unacceptable personal conduct exhibited by your behavior in the above noted incident violated SBI policy to the extent that it tends to place the SBI in a position of disrepute and impairs the operation and efficiency of the Bureau,” the SBI’s letter to Floyd reads. “In addition, your actions are certainly unacceptable for a law enforcement officer.”

Note: An earlier version of this story reported Floyd pleaded guilty to stealing the political banner, however, he did not plead guilty to the larceny charge. The larceny charge was dismissed.

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