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BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Interim Bladen County Sheriff Earl Storms told us today that Prentis Benston is now his chief deputy. That could be a problem for the Democratic nominee for Sheriff this fall.

The US Office of Special Counsel investigated Benston to see if he worked with any federal funds, which would be a violation the Hatch Act, which restricts political activity by anyone who works with federal funds. It ruled he did not, so he was cleared to run. But as the Sheriff’s top administrator, it’s reasonable to believe Benston would now be in a position to administer that federal money.

As citizens and taxpayers, we have exercised our right and asked the Office of Special Counsel’s Hatch Act unit to look into Benston’s new job and how it affects his run for Sheriff.

Comment on this Story

  • Charles Walters

    Maybe Storms is running a meth lab or guns or other drugs. When you start tell deputies not to do their jobs it’s time for the AG, the SBI, or even the FBI to get involved. It sounds like Bladen County needs a good laxitive to clean out all the crap there.

  • BCgirl

    All of the banter about the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office has been going on for way too long. Sheriff Storms (and you can call him “interim” if you want, but he’s still the man in charge) had his reasons for doing what he did. Trust me, just continue to watch the news, as everyone here obviously does, and it will all unfold right in front of you.

    Yes, we often depend on the media to set the story straight, but people also need to understand that out of a 10 or 15 minute interview, only a handful of those quotes are used. That means, regardless of how “thorough” of a job a reporter tries to do, we only get part of the story — and more often than not, it is one sided.

    Prentis has been in the ballgame long enough to know NOT to put himself in a position that will cause him to have to withdraw from the sheriff’s race. He’s worked too long and too hard to give up now. Have you ever stopped to think that just because his job title changed that he didn’t necessarily take on the exact same responsibilities that were previously held by Phillip Little? The men and women of that department work in their areas of expertise, regardless of what title is on their doors.

    So whether you are a Prentis supporter or a Billy supporter, the fact of the matter is that Earl Storms is the sheriff at this time, and will continue to be until the new sheriff takes office in December. It’s time that everyone let him do the job he was appointed to do, regardless of whether you like the decisions he makes.

  • SmellTheCoffee

    Well let us look at the facts here people! Mr. Storms was sworn in, he fired 5 deputy’s without reason or cause. He told two count them two different stories to the media, I don’t know about you all but I like my sheriff be it elected or appointed to be forthcoming and honest not a sneaky snake in the grass out serving his or someone else’s own purpose. Then the next day he has a meeting with his department to make them ALL fill out applications to cover his behind, now stay with me here people I know for some of you it’s hard to do but wasn’t one of the reasons he said he let the five go because they didn’t fill out applications? Seems to me if they aren’t allowed to keep their jobs and be sworn in then all of the deputy’s shouldn’t have been sworn in. I mean if the other five had done something wrong don’t hide it share it with the rest of the county who is looking at you for answers! Then at this same meeting where he is “covering his backside” he see’s fit to say don’t pull over anyone and you can’t use the K-9’s! Seems like there is a political and drug agenda here right from the get go! Remember back to when he was Sheriff before some drugs went missing then and now we aren’t pulling over people or using our K-9’s? Hmm meanwhile the gangs and drug dealers are having a big old time up in Bladen County! The he and Benston don’t show for the meeting wow that makes them look even worse, if you aren’t being sneaky and you aren’t doing wrong then why not show up? Why hide like a coward? Makes you look very suspicious I just hope the county’s residents are taking note on all these acts and use their brains when it comes time to vote! Now check this he has put Benston in a brand new position, which I find funny enough might compromise his election this November because if he was serving out his political agenda I think he is now jinxed and if so and it bites him in the behind he deserves it! I am also fed up with seeing everyone say this is a “race issue” let’s wake up people of Bladen County this isn’t the 1950’s or 1960’s even this is the year 2010 this is not about the color of anyone’s skin and I’m sick of that cop out that’s all anyone knows how to holler around the south anymore so lets just get on over that now, people have grown, changed and moved on into a new century it’s time to leave the past in the past and move forward! Storms should do what is best and just resign and step down effective immediately, the vast majority of the people in Bladen County has no faith in him to serve and protect he has already handed the county over to the drug dealers and gangs by firing those deputy’s. The department’s response time to incidents is already less than desired now with five deputy’s no on the force well I can imagine the response time will be lessened even more. Bladen County needs some elected officials with some integrity and intelligence and they need it now! Further more if you don’t like either of the candidates that are running for sheriff doesn’t the ballot have a write in slot if there is someone who has been running in the past couldn’t you just jot their name in? Either way I hope come November Bladen County gets the change they need because something needs to be done to this crooked, corrupt little county before it’s over run with gangs, violence, and drugs, before it gets too far gone!

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