District Attorney plans to file new petition to remove Columbus County sheriff-elect

District Attorney plans to file new petition to remove Columbus County sheriff-elect
Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 6:28 PM EST
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COLUMBUS COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Jody Greene has been elected to serve as sheriff of Columbus County less than a month after resigning from the same position.

Greene thanked his supporters after being elected again as sheriff on his personal Facebook page.

“The countless phone calls and support from friends and supporters have meant so much,” Greene said. “I am so honored for your vote of confidence in me and the staff at the Sheriff’s Office. I promise we will not let you down, I am the Sheriff for everyone no matter race, color, religion, sex orientation, or national origin. Moving forward I ask for your continued prayers and support as we face new challenges in Columbus county. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”

District Attorney Jon David called on Greene to resign after he was heard on a recorded phone call making racist comments about his black employees and calling for them to be fired. When Greene refused, David filed a petition to remove the then-sheriff from office, and Greene was suspended pending a hearing.

Just days before the hearing, David updated the petition to include new allegations against Greene, claiming Greene had arrested residents without basis, threatened county commissioners, and had a sexual relationship with a female employee while on duty.

Greene resigned right before the state was about to call its first witness in the Oct. 24 hearing, saying he did not want to put the people he serves through such a process. David then said the hearing would not need to move forward.

Later that day, Greene said he would still be seeking reelection while David vowed to file another petition for removal, based on the same allegations, should Greene be victorious.

“These allegations speak through time and are disqualifying to anyone seeking to hold the high office of sheriff. Should Greene be successful in the November election, my office would have an ethical obligation to file, and will file, a new Petition to Remove Greene from that term of office based on the allegations alleged in the current Petition to Remove,” David said in a statement on Oct. 24.

Results from the North Carolina State Board of Elections show Greene has been elected to serve as Sheriff again.

Deborah Maxwell, the president of the North Carolina NAACP, says she is disappointed that Greene will be able to hold office again after hearing his racist comments.

“I am disappointed that there was not enough turnout to reverse the decision with him being on the ballot,” Maxwell said. “But we will continue to press the issue because what he said was inflammatory, and part of our mission statement is to fight racial hatred and racial discrimination, which is what he did and his comments and statements.”

Once the election results are canvassed and made official, Greene will be sworn in as sheriff on Dec. 5. David has not said when exactly he plans to file another petition to remove Greene from office.

Meanwhile, an SBI investigation into Greene and the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office continues.