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FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: Interim Bladen County Sheriff can't seem to get his story straight; Commissioners may try to terminate him

READ MORE: FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: Interim Bladen County Sheriff can't seem to get his story straight; Commissioners may try to terminate him

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.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


If you're making corrections

If you're making corrections, don't make new mistakes on the way.

Please....we have heard

Please....we have heard enough. Go arrest some of the crack heads and gang members in Bladen county and quit bickering.

Sheriff debate

I don't believe the debate to be of race. It was of who would be the honest man IN the seat. For years I have witnessed first hand the dishonesty of our Sheriff Dept. Some of the afford mentioned that were not swore in are includeded, most not. I do believe an OUTSIDE investigation is needed. God Bless Us ALL!!!

Nothing CHanges

Bladen County needs a massive overhaul of the powers that are in charge! The Good Old Boy system needs to be done away with and the coruption in other places needs to be done away with! Bladen County has always been a cesspool of gossip and corruptions and people wonder where the drugs and gangs are coming from lack of anyone doing anything! An SBI investigation would be great and some rearragning from the top to the bottom would be fabulous as well maybe someone will actually give a crap one day!

nothing will change if SBI is called!

Well I see all of you are not up to date on the election and the people who live here. All we seem to think is a generic black and white race. Tv 3 called out the old Sheriff and said he told a lie. Well he did, listen to his story justs like DR. Blakes who lied to. And as far as an investigation how can you get acting Sheriff Storms to call in the investigation when his own Girl is the lead investigator with the SBI for Bladen County located in Bladen County. I think this is the heat our canidate for Sheriff of the crooked county!