BRUNSWICK COUNTY -- It's been one week since Brunswick County Sheriff Ronald Hewett was suspended from his post following allegations of extortion, embezzlement and intoxication. This begs the question: what's it really like to work for the Brunswick County Sheriff's Department? A women who spent five years working under Ron Hewett told NewsChannel 3 about the good, the bad and the ugly of what was really going on behind the scenes. Former Brunswick County Sheriff's Department employee Linda Thompson said, "Life at the Brunswick County sheriff's department for the five years that I worked there was between a living hell and a nightmare." Thompson worked as a jail supervisor for the Brunswick County Sheriff's Department from 1999 to 2004. She says she was used as a scapegoat for the department and was fired. "I was wrongfully terminated, having been accused of stealing," she said. "I was almost locked up. I was interrogated for almost two hours." She has always denied stealing a necklace from an inmate and believes department leaders used her as an easy way out. "They tried to make me confess to doing a crime that I didn't do," Thompson said. "Some of them just didn't want to do any more work." Thompson is upset she lost her job but says the worst part was losing her friends at work. "Everyone was told, by my understanding, that they couldn't have any more contact with me or they'd lose their job -- by the sheriff," Thompson said. She hopes people realize now that things aren't always what they seem. "Everyone knows there's a certain amount of corruption that goes on in any and all law enforcement," Thompson said. Thompson believes more evidence of corruption could come out as secrets are revealed, and that the problems will take years to resolve.
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