COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Lewis Hatcher was sworn in as Columbus County's newest sheriff Tuesday morning.
Commissioners in Columbus County appointed Lewis Hatcher as the new sheriff during their meeting Monday night.
Hatcher, who previously served as Chief Deputy, replaces Sheriff Chris Batten who stepped down Tuesday. Hatcher worked for the Highway Patrol for 26 years, Bladen County Sheriff's office for five years, and also the Clarkton Police Department.
"I was always in the decision making process. Of course, the sheriff has the final say so. But the sheriff and I worked fine together. I'm very familiar with how the court system works. How the Columbus County Bar works, so I feel like I'm a good candidate," said Hatcher.
"He'll be a good sheriff. He'll be honest, well respected, and he'll make sure the deputies do what their supposed to do," said Chuck Stanley, who lives in Columbus County.
Hatcher said he plans to run for sheriff later this year after his appointed term is up in November.
He says, he won't announce who he'll make his chief deputy until he evaluates some things. But he tells us, his staff should not be nervous about their job being in jeopardy.
The new sheriff will make $64,000 a year, which is about $6,000 less than Sheriff Batten made.
County Commissioners said they looked at the salaries of other sheriffs in the surrounding areas to help gage how much to pay Hatcher.
Sheriff Benson in Bladen County makes roughly $73,000 a year, and Sheriff Ingram in Brunswick County makes about $108,000.