Columbus County Sheriff resigns for the second time; District Attorney holds news conference on the announcement

Former Columbus County Sheriff Jody Greene resigned on Wednesday morning at a hearing to remove him from office brought by District Attorney Jon David.
Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 10:42 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 4, 2023 at 12:11 PM EST
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COLUMBUS COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Jody Greene has resigned as Columbus County Sheriff less than a week into his second term. Greene’s attorney, Michael Mills, made the announcement Wednesday at the start of a hearing to remove Greene from office.

David held a news conference at 11:30 a.m. on the same day. At that conference, David announced that Kevin Norris, who was recently named chief deputy, will now serve as sheriff of Columbus County as the board of commissioners completes the process to choose someone for the role.

David said the judge dismissed the issue of removal because of Greene’s resignation, but the judge is yet to make a decision on the issue of permanent disqualification.

“This office has been very consistent with where we stand on this issue. We simply do not feel as though Jody Greene should be someone who ever carries a badge again,” David said.

You can watch the conference below.

County Commissioner Lavern Coleman was standing outside the courthouse when he was asked to come upstairs and accept Greene’s resignation. He wanted Greene to stay in office and says his resignation is a sad moment.

“A man’s got a family and when it’s constantly being dragged around and kicked, it’s sad. Nobody can get any joy out today,” said Coleman.

Superior Court Judge Douglas Sasser presided over the brief hearing Wednesday morning. Once he determined the hearing would not move forward since Greene was no longer Sheriff, he asked those in the courtroom to look towards the future.

“I think at this point it’s resolved, but, living here in Columbus County, I hope from this point forward can go forward and it’s not so much back and forth as to who has said what, but from this point we go forward as to what we can all do to make this a better county,” Sasser said.

Other Columbus County residents hope for change, citing the need for a better relationship between the community and the sheriff’s office.

“We need to have a more friendly relationship with police department and the sheriff’s department and the law enforcement in our county,” said Veronica Butler.

Even though Greene is no longer sheriff, criminal investigations at the state and federal level continue. Columbus County NAACP President Curtis hill hopes something will come from those investigations.

“We understand that this is just the first step of the process that they have developed the Columbus County to move the county forward,” said Hill. “But we’re also wanting to make sure that the citizens of Columbus County experience justice in this matter.”

David filed a similar petition for Greene’s removal last fall after recordings of Greene making racist statements about his employees became public. The petition brought forward allegations against Greene including misconduct while in office, a sexual affair with a deputy and other accusations.

Greene resigned during the hearing in October but was reelected just weeks later. He was sworn in for a second term on Dec. 29.

David filed the most recent petition in the minutes after Greene was sworn in.