BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WECT)- Bladenboro Town Administrator Delane Jackson was arrested at 2:10 p.m. this afternoon. He was served an arrest warrant for simple assault and a criminal summons for communicating threats. He turned himself in to the magistrate's office Monday afternoon and was released on a $500 unsecured bond.
Keith Dowless took the warrants out on Jackson.
According to Dowless, he and his wife were at Bo's Food Market in Bladenboro at the meat counter when Jackson approached them and asked if they were mad at him and why they voted for the yes referendum.
Dowless said he felt threatened because Jackson repeatedly got in his face. When he asked Jackson to step away, the town administrator allegedly responded by saying, "Why don't you make me?"
Captain Hester with the Bladen Sheriff Office said that Jackson is scheduled to turn himself into authorities at some point Monday night.
Jackson recently became the town administrator after residents voted to change the form of government in Bladenboro. Under the new contract, the town administrator will be in the position for one year.
According to Jackson's new contract, he will be entitled to six months pay or no more than $30,000 if he is fired for any reason other than a felony conviction.
Jackson will also be paid whatever vacation time he has earned for his time with Bladenboro which is about two months worth of vacation time.
Jackson released the following statement in regards to the incident.
The recent municipal campaign in Bladenboro was, in my opinion, a very mean spirited, malicious and unfair campaign. It was wrought with mis-information, personal attacks and lies, all of which were perpetuated with social media and on line forums. During the campaign I was a victim of all of these practices even though I am not an elected official. That trend continues even though the election is over. Today, I was served with two warrants. Both of my accusers were supporters of the newly elected Mayor and supporters of the referendum. For nearly 16 years I have served the Town of Bladenboro. Most of that time was spent working for the elected officials who were defeated on Election Day. I believe that I am now being attacked by the same group of people who participated in a very vicious campaign. Many of them are not even residents of this town. I attribute their attack in part to my affiliation with the outgoing board members.
In Bladen County there appears to be a very low threshold for filing legal charges against someone. For example: One warrant that I was served with today literally reads as follows- "The defendant named above unlawfully and willfully did assault Keith Dowless by getting real close to his face with his face." I did not touch Mr. Dowless nor did I threaten him. He does not even allege that. If "getting close" to another person merits assault, then I along with many others in society am guilty of multiple accounts of assault. The Town of Bladenboro has many wonderful people living in it. However, there are some whose goal it is to cause trouble and controversy.
The other charge issued against me today, claims that I threatened Johnny Deaver. I went to Mr. Deaver, who is a neighbor of mine, to discuss a malicious and physically harmful comment that he had directed to me through another person. I did not threaten him.
In my opinion, both of the charges are trumped up and frivolous. I look forward to my day in court and I am confident that I will be found innocent.I believe the filing of both charges was planned and orchestrated in an attempt to defame me.
Based on advice from professionals, I am considering counter legal action against both of my accusers and I am also considering filing a complaint against the Bladen County Magistrates Office.