A North Carolina sheriff who is currently seeking re-election is under investigation after explosive three-year-old phone calls allegedly revealing racist rants and threats to fire every black deputy in his office surfaced.
Jody Greene is currently facing off against his former friend, Captian Jason Soles in a bid to remain as Columbus County Sheriff, but racially charged allegations stemming from his narrow defeat of Lewis Hatcher, the county’s first black sheriff, in 2018 are going to make Greene’s chances a whole lot tougher.
Greene’s campaign against Hatcher was a tight one, with Greene winning by just 34 votes, WECT, an NBC affiliate in Wilmington, N.C., reports. As the race dragged into February of 2019, Soles was appointed the interim sheriff.
A paranoid Greene allegedly called Soles in February, ranting about a “snitch.” Soles was disturbed enough by Greene’s statements that he hit record.
“I’m sick of it. I’m sick of these black bastards,” Greene allegedly told Soles. “I’m going to clean house and be done with it. And we’ll start from there.”
Greene was convinced there was a leak in his office and had gone so far as to seek phone records from Verizon to ascertain whether or not Hatcher or Melvin Campbell, an African American sergeant who had recently been fired, had been in contact with anyone in his department in the last two months.
“They’re gone. This is as fair as I’m going to be. Just giving you a heads up, that’s coming,” Greene can be heard telling Soles. “When me and [attorney] Boyd [Worley] and [wife] Angie [Greene] go through it tomorrow, the first numbers we see, they’re gone. They ain’t going to make it brother.”
“I’m telling you, they might as well find somewhere else to go,” he continued. “Because if you ain’t with me – I ain’t referring to you – but if they’re not with me, they’re against me. And they’re gone. And that’s just how it’s going to be. Clarity – whatever her name is, I don’t trust her. Dawn says she’s racist… If I have to fire every mother f***er out there, guess what?”
“I’m tired of them f***ing with me. It ain’t happening no more. No godd**n more,” he vowed. “So you let them know, if I find their numbers in the next day or two, they ain’t going to like it. They damn sure ain’t going to like it. And that’s got to be somebody in the command staff.”
Greene then took aim at another black employee, Augustine Clarida, who was at the time a detention officer.
“Clarity,” he said. “I don’t trust her. She’s just sitting there staring at me the other day, the whole time. Staring at me the whole f**ing time.”
The shocking tirade became more unhinged as Greene went on.
“Tomorrow’s gonna be a new f**king day,” he declared. “I’m still the motherf**king sheriff, and I’ll go up and fire every godd**n [inaudible]. F**k them black bastards. They think I’m scared? They’re stupid.”
“I don’t know what else to do it. So it’s just time to clean them out,” Greene stated. “There’s a snitch in there somewhere tellin’ what we are doing. And I’m not gonna have it. I’m not going to have it.”
Greene’s plan to thwart the snitches allegedly involved going after everyone who is “guilty by f**king association” and firing them.
“We’ll cut the snake’s head f**king off. Period,” he promised Soles. “And Melvin Campbell is as big a snake as Lewis Hatcher ever dared to be. Every black that I know, you need to fire him to start with, he’s a snake.”
According to Soles, the call was heartbreaking.
“It broke my heart. Because that’s not what I believe in,” he told WECT. “It upset me to the fact that I did have to start recording his phone calls. And I’m not wanting to go around recording people’s conversations. But… this was not the leader that we needed leading the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office making these racial slurs.”
Soles insisted the release of the call is not politically motivated and said he’s been trying to get the County Commissioners and any other official he could think of to address the issue since the call came in years ago.
Though one of the commissioners did follow up on Soles’ claims, the rest were reportedly “largely Greene supporters,” and, therefore, nothing was done.
“Everybody had deaf ears,” Soles said.
But apparently, making the call public has done the trick.
After receiving an email from WECT about the recording, the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) contacted Columbus County District Attorney Jon David, who claims it was the first time he had heard of the allegations.
On Tuesday, David issued a formal request to the SBI to investigate Greene for allegations of Obstruction of Justice by the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office.
As for Greene, he denies everything.
In a lengthy statement posted to the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, Greene accused Soles of running a “smear campaign.”
“When Soles announced his candidacy for Sheriff, the Republican GOP of Columbus County was contacted by the Soles camp and expressed they wanted to run a clean smear free campaign,” he wrote. “From the alleged 2019 recordings Soles just released, it is clear he has other methods in mind.”
“If Soles has had these alleged recordings since 2019, why would he intentionally hold the recordings? Why would he want to release them almost four years later? What purpose does it serve?” he asked. “The only thing Soles has on his agenda is to be Sheriff at all costs necessary. If Soles truly wanted unity and peace this would have been an issue at the time of the alleged recording not right before an election.”
“In closing,” he stated, “I adamantly deny any racial intent or actions on my part. I acknowledge there were racial tensions during the 2018 certification of the election and that the media and some members in the community were referring to the two political sides as black and white. And I also acknowledge that I use expletive language but deny using it with malice intent.”
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