Sheriff Who Quit Amid Scandal Weeks Ago Is Reelected

North Carolina's Jody Greene was recorded disparaging Black deputies
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2022 11:32 AM CST
Sheriff Elected Weeks After Resigning Amid Scandal
A file photo of "I voted" stickers.   (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

One of the most controversial election results of the week is out of North Carolina's Columbus County, where former Sheriff Jody Greene was elected once again. The reason for the controversy? Greene, who is white, resigned as sheriff only two weeks ago after he was heard disparaging Black deputies on a phone call, reports WECT. Greene resigned just as the local district attorney was about to begin a hearing to seek his removal from office, though Greene made clear at the time that he was still seeking reelection. Now he's poised to be back in office soon even as DA Jon David—who, like Greene, is a Republican—has promised to file a new petition seeking his removal from office.

The chain of events began in September, when Greene's opponent in the race, Jason Soles, released a recording of a 2019 phone call he had with Greene that Soles secretly recorded. In the call, Greene (who had just won a close election that was under review) is heard saying: "Every Black that I know, you need to fire him to start with, he's a snake!" per the Washington Post. At another point: "I'm sick of it. I'm sick of these Black bastards," Greene says, per an earlier WECT story about the call. "I'm going to clean house and be done with it. And we'll start from there." The complaint against him was later expanded to include allegations of unjustified arrests and threats made to county commissioners.

After this week's election win, Greene promised to be the sheriff "for everyone no matter race, color, religion, sex orientation, or national origin." And his attorney told the Post that Greene "is sorry for the disrespectful and insensitive words that have offended friends, colleagues, and fellow citizens, and he has asked for their forgiveness." Deborah Maxwell of the state NAACP tells WECT she's disappointed in the election results, 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." (More North Carolina stories.)

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