Finding a Replacement for Sheriff Hewett

BRUNSWICK COUNTY -- As Hewett awaits his hearing on May 5, the process to find his replacement began Monday night at a special County Commissioner's meeting.

According to District Attorney Rex Gore, the Sheriff's Department is business as usual.

But, with Coroner Greg White holding the top two elected positions in the county, commissioners feel a replacement is needed sooner than later.

At Monday night's meeting, Brunswick County Commissioners made it clear they don't like the waiting game, and they don't want to sit idle until Hewett's suspension hearing.

The commissioners want a permanent fix.

The board passed a motion to get the permanent replacement process started.  They will ask the county's Democratic party to give them a nominee.

But, North Carolina state law limits the board's options.  They can either accept the nominee or keep Acting Sheriff, White, in office.

Everyone at the meeting agreed it is in the best interest of the citizens to have a new sheriff in place as soon as possible.

A nominee will be announced in the next 30 days.  Democratic representatives said they already have 15 names in the running, hoping that one of their nominations will win over the County Commissioners.

Monday night, the board also discussed having Acting Sheriff White appoint a Chief Deputy to help him lead the department.  That position has been vacant for some time.

Reported by Kim Gebbia