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ELIZABETHTOWN, NC (WWAY) — Interim Bladen County Sheriff Earl Storms is under fire for letting several deputies go moments after he took office yesterday. Since talking with WWAY last night, Storms keeps changing his story.

Today, Storms says he asked the deputies to reapply for their positions and the deputies chose not to. But last night, he told us he needed more time to evaluate them before swearing them in.

This all stems from a swearing-in ceremony in yesterday. Storms was sworn in, as were some of the county’s deputies. Five of the office’s 10 deputies were not sworn in. One of them was Chief Deputy Phillip Little, who interim Sheriff Storms says retired. As for the other four, former Sheriff candidate Eric Bryan, Scott Pait, Steve Lesane and Debra Nelson, Storms gave one explanation about why they were not sworn in, but today it was a different story.

“It’s the Sheriff’s prerogative and state law to swear in deputies that he so desires,” Storms told WWAY last night. “And a lot of the men, I haven’t had a chance to go over their record. That will come down the line.”

Today, though, Storms said, “I haven’t fired anybody. They were all offered applications. They declined not to fill them out. I didn’t hire them. You can’t fire them if you didn’t hire them.”

Nelson emailed us this morning saying, “Your news release is a LIE. Earl Storms never talked to me this morning or my supervisor Scott Pait. Herman Dunn, Prentis Benston’s campaign manager/treasurer, came to us and told us we were not being sworn back in. Storms never talked to us.”

Storms admits he never talked to the five deputies before they found out at the last minute that they would not be sworn in.

County Commissioner Billy Ray Pait says the decision reeks of politics. He says commissioners will hold a special meeting Friday to see if they can legally terminiate Storms.

We were shown a letter today posted inside the Sheriff’s Department that tells dispatchers not to contact Sheriff Storms directly at any time. Instead they should contact Capt. Prentis Benston, the Democratic nominee for Sheriff in November, first or Dunn. If you connect the political dots, Storms threw his support behind Benston early in the race. Dunn is Benston’s campaign manager/treasurer.

Lesane, Pait and Nelson all supported Bryan’s campaign for sheriff, according to Bryan’s campaign website.

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65 Comments on "FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: Interim Bladen County Sheriff can’t seem to get his story straight; Commissioners may try to terminate him"

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daver
2016 years 2 months ago

” am also conclusive when I right my sentences and voting is my right –you heard of the Magna Carter?? ”

When I write my sentences……..no right. And it is the Magna Carta, which stems from England…..

Guest
Guest
2016 years 2 months ago

The author of the orginial threat presented her thoughts in a bit of a less than tactful manner. I, too, am African American and consider your comment to be offensive and less than tolerable. To assume that an individual voted for Prentis Benston also voted in favor of “OUR” president, PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, is a bit racist. You may not have cast your vote in favor of him, but please be mindful that he has rule over you!

I have audio and written communication skills that surpass the original threat’s author; yet I unhesitantly side with the individual… Read more »

Guest
Guest
2016 years 2 months ago

AMEN!!!

Guest
Guest
2016 years 2 months ago

I absolutely agree, there is an absolute show of bias from the way this has been reported by WWAY 3, Which one of you guys are getting kick backs for reporting the way that you have been, definitely not professional. Well I had never watched your news before the “Big Bad Mean interim Bladen County Sheriff” was posted by a friend on facebook. You guys are adding fuel to the fire with your biased reporting, for this you should be ashamed. You guys really don’t have a clue and it shows, lol.

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WardSupporter
2016 years 2 months ago

Firstly, our county commissioners should have known better than to bring Earl Storms back. Secondly, Phillip Little has been acting Bladen County Sheriff when the former Sheriff was out of town. So the “common sense” thing to have done was to have elected Phillip Little Sheriff for the next five months. It is obvious there was a motive to elect Storms. I am disappointed that several of our commissioners fell for Miss Blank’s trap and I am sure they are now. Storms is serving as clean-up man for Sheriff hopeful Benston.

Earl Storms stated he wanted to get to know the… Read more »

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