Pubdate: Fri, 05 Apr 2002
Source: Dispatch, The (NC)
Copyright: 2002, The Lexington Dispatch
Author: Glenn Payne



Editor: "There's not a word of truth in it," remarked the Davidson County 
sheriff on radio station WLXN on the morning of Jan. 15. This was in 
reference to my Jan. 14 letter to this newspaper criticizing the sheriff's 
hiring practices. "If I were him I'd never pick up a pen and paper again," 
he warned.

Well sheriff, I prize the freedoms granted by the Bill of Rights, 
particularly those granted by the First and Second Amendments. Neither you 
nor any other lawman should even try to infringe upon them.

I have loosely watched your tenure as sheriff since early 1995 and, in my 
opinion, the majority of your time was spent creating an illusion. In just 
three months you transformed yourself from a former deputy with 
questionable judgment into a "top cop." But soon discrepancies appeared - 
scandals, SBI investigations and lawsuits filed against you and your 
deputies became all too common.

Now three of your top associates face prison sentences and two more 
departed under a cloud of suspicion. Under your watch, the DA had to 
dismiss charges against more than 30 defendants. A man convicted on 
evidence allegedly planted by one or more of your officers has been 
exonerated. The most disgusting aspect thus far, also alleged, is when a 
teen-ager, enticed by one of your informants, purchased enough "hits" of 
LSD to assure him a long prison sentence.

Glenn Payne

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