FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: Deputy speaks out as Bladen County Sheriff tries to cover tracks
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ELIZABETHTOWN, NC (WWAY) -- After speaking with WWAY Wednesday afternoon, Bladen County Sheriff Earl Storms called a special meeting with his deputies Wednesday night. One of the officers who attended that meeting says he's had enough of the political games.

Sheriff's Sgt. Gary Edwards says he spent time Wednesday night cleaning out his patrol car. That's because Edwards says he's convinced he'll be fired for blowing the whistle on Sheriff Storms.

"We were told tonight that we were not to speak to anybody outside this agency about anything that's going on with this agency, period," Edwards said.

He says he's had enough of the lies and secrets that have spread through the Sheriff's Department since Storms took over as interim sheriff Tuesday. Storms told us ten deputies were supposed to be sworn in on Tuesday, but Edwards says that's not true.

"I want to say that there is either 48 or 52 deputies, but everybody got sworn in except for those five," Edwards said.

And after deciding not to swear in the five deputies Tuesday morning, Storms told us he needed more time to get background information on those deputies. Wednesday, Storms changed his story and said he didn't swear in those five deputies because they had not filled out an application. But Sgt. Edwards was sworn in, and he says he never filled out an application... until Wednesday night's meeting.

"The Sheriff, the interim Sheriff that's acting now, said to me, it's to cover his ass," Edwards said.

County Commissioners plan to hold a public meeting Friday to figure out what Storms is up to. Commissioner Billy Ray Pait says commissioners may even ask for Storms' resignation. Edwards says he also believes the deputies who weren't sworn in are paying a political price.

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Sgt Edwards, It takes a lot of guts to speak out the way you did. Thank you for not giving in to pressure and taking the easy road. If you are let go, I hope you find a department worthy of someone with your high standards. You did the right thing.

I fully agree with Sgt. Edwards. As a former Bladen county deputy I am fed up with the stupidity that we have witnessed. It is being fully orchestrated by persons outside of the Dept. and carried out by Mr. storms. My question is what is so worth destroying peoples lives over? In my experience it has usually been over money and power. What has happened reeks of money and people doing what they are told to do by others. Get rid of the outside money and power then see who truly will give a damn.

Don't terminate a commissioner's nephew and get away Scott free.

Had it been my nephew, I doubt Pait would notice it.

Storms did what he had to do. Storms is a stubborn administrator who won't be pushed around by the likes of Mr Pait and his kinfolks.

Having spoken to Commissioner Pait myself, I can tell you that he is upset because before being sworn in, Earl Storms gave every indication to the commissioners that he would NOT do what he just did. This has nothing to do with family and EVERYTHING to do with Storms lying to the commissioners. It's a sad day when a man's word is WORTHLESS!!

Mr Pait and the other commissioners were told that Storms was going to NOT get rid of anyone, and try to help mend the department. Pushed around?? Are you an Idiot?? take the time to look at Scott Pait's track record within that department, arrests made, cases solved, reports taken, not to mention the individuals he has helped, there was NO legitimate reason to get rid of such a GREAT officer. He is respected and very respectful to all, he treats everyone the same. again are you an IDIOT?? All of those officers are great officers, take a look at their track records. Maybe you need to just shut up.

Maybe Scott Pait should run for Sheriff, now that would make Bladen County a safe place to live.

Kudos to Gary, I am sure you said what a lot want to.

i agree

I'm not his kinfolk and I would have gone after Earl Storms. So unless you know what you are talking about, keep your mouth shut. And Maybe he won't get pushed around by the Good ones like the Paits,But Rather by the likes of Bob Meeker which seems to suit him better. The point is we need to have Sheriff Storms thrown out on his butt for telling the Deputies to not stop suspected drug dealing autos and not to use the K-9 dogs. How about a memo telling all officers to not contact him but to notify Prentis Benston. Benston is no more the Sheriff than I am.... Please stop acting like he won.....he has won nothing nor will he. Benston supporters are jumping off him like fleas off a dog.....So sorry Bob Meeker and Ronnie Rising you two will never control the Sheriff's Dept again!!!!

I have lived in Bladen County all my life. Elizabethtown is a small town and everyone grows up together, goes to school together, and always says hi whenever you meet them in town. I feel that since Earl Storms has taken over, we have lost that small town feeling and it has become a circus. I am so thankful that Sgt. Edwards told the truth about what is going on. I think that Mr. Storms is doing whatever he wants and he has stated in other reports that he hired Eric and Steve. I mean he comes in like a "real" sherriff whenever he is just "filling in" until the novemeber vote. I also think that Storms probably needs to be mentally tested for alzhiermer's because he keeps changing his story. I mean it is almost like "welcome to the wild west" when we are a small town and our crime rate is high. I mean we have just recovered from a student being shot at west bladen where my child goes to school. The parents were promised law protection for their children and now with HURRICANE STORMS brewing, who knows what is in store for our children as protection. Again thank you Sgt Edwards for telling the truth to the citizens of Bladen County. I support your decision for being an HONEST PERSON! MAYBE YOU SHOULD TEACH STORMS HOW TO BE HONEST AND DO THE RIGHT THING! IT LOOKS LIKE HE HAS FORGOTTEN HOW TO TELL THE TRUTH!

I do not think he is honest or great at all. As far as blowing the whistle he could blow it on his self and tell how him and 3 other officers tazed Billy Ray Cook to death just a few years ago. Between the four of them Billy was tazed 38 times. Just moments after he was dead , leaveing five children with out a father. His family was just awarded 350,000$ in a lawsuit over the incident.

If you people dont think the great losing eric bryan would not of fired people you are wrong.

Sheriff's offices and politics go hand in hand. Whether or not it is right, that is the way it is and has been for a VERY long time. Eric Bryan had his own list if he would of won. Does everyone think that he would of kept Capt. Benston, Herman Dunn and his supporters...NO WAY! But you know what people, this is what happens when a new sheriff is elected! Sure, things could of been done a little different but it's POLITICS!! Mr. Bryan would of fired people too, people who have families. If he had taken office he would had HIS OWN agenda and there would of been more than 5 that would not of gotten sworn in!
If noone believes what I have stated, ask Eric Bryan if he would of kept EVERYONE, ask him would of he fired anyone and if he is being honest, which I know he will be, he will tell you yes, he would of gotten rid of people too!