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FIRST ON 3: Sheriff's chopper pilot resigns amidst investigation

READ MORE: FIRST ON 3: Sheriff's chopper pilot resigns amidst investigation

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- The helicopter pilot for the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office resigned Saturday. Lt. Scott Gerow was under internal investigation for an incident earlier this month.

As WWAY was first to report last week, Gerow was involved in some sort of incident September 10. The Sheriff's Office says Gerow was involved in a disagreement with Brad Wivell. A report was taken for communicating threats, but Wivell decided not to file charges against Gerow. Sheriff Ed McMahon requested that the District Attorney’s Office review the incident. The DA’s Office agreed that no criminal charges should be filed.

At that point Sheriff McMahon requested an internal investigation to see if any Sheriff's Office policies had been broken. Saturday Gerow resigned from the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. Gerow had been the Sheriff's Office helicopter pilot since November 2007.



On Friday September 10, 2010 Lt. Scott Gerow was involved in a disagreement between himself and Brad Wivell. A report was taken for Communicating Threats. Mr. Wivell decided not to file charges against Lt. Gerow. Sheriff McMahon requested that the District Attorney’s Office review the incident. Upon review the DA’s Office agreed that no criminal charges be filed.

At this point Sheriff McMahon requested an internal investigation initiated to see if any Sheriff Office policies had been broken. On Saturday September 18, 2010 Lt. Scott Gerow resigned from the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. Subsequently, the internal investigation has been discontinued. “I hold my Deputies to a higher standard”, stated Sheriff McMahon.

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Who exactly was the victim?

Anybody can call the police and report and deliverd threat. A thorough investigation would provide what provoked the threat. Who is to say a threat was not first delivered by the victim? No where is it mentioned what elapsed during this so called event.

McMahon- another one escapes justice

How is it that this sheriff turns the other cheek on Smith and Gerow when his duty is to enforce the law? If this was the first time we would all be shocked but unfortunately this is one of many times the law took a backseat to some kind of favoritism.

Sheriff Ed McMahon can't keep reminding the public of his mentor Sid Causey. This helicopter was a boondoggle from the get go and dont forget Ed was in on it from the beginning.

Im ready to see what election day brings us. Hopefully it will be a hard edge crime fighter who shows no sympathy to the criminals. It's time to put our foot down and demand equal justice.

The only thing I can tell

The only thing I can tell you is to GET A CLUE. Learn the law before you make an idiotic statement. The charge for communicating threats is a misdemeanor which the victim can take out his own warrants own. And the fact that he CHOSE not to press charges is enough for the Sheriff to close the case criminally. Sheriff McMahon went ahead with an internal investigation inwhich Gerow decided to quite before that investigation was complete. Since he quit the department, there was no point in IA continuing their investigation

Chirst in LAw Enforcement

Both Cauwsey and McMahon are good Christian Men who obey the word of the Lord God Almightty. Both of them serve the one true master in the world, Jesus. I know Ed McMahon for 10 years and he is a good man who hears God's voice and answers to him every day. If the Lord tells these men that they need a helicopter then who are we to second guess.

It is the liberal atheist that are saying these lies.

Well, is the county still

Well, is the county still going to pay him to keep the Helicopter @ his house.I think Gerow should pay back the county for helping him get out of dept.We can also thank Sid our ex Sheriff for helping him out with that. I guess you could just call it helping out a good old buddy. Why couldn't the county contract with the airport to house the chopper. No Sid had set Gerow to stay at his own house with the helicopter and draw a pay check from the Sheriff Department to do nothing. He's never been in Law Enforcement and becomes a LT out of the gate. Sid, your stinking up this county and your name all over this crap. I think the internal investigation was a great idea.I think they should of had it in place from the beginning of Sids 1st day on the Job @ Sheriff Dept.Gerow,go help Sid beat signs in the ground. You do owe him for helping you out.

You do realize???...

You do realize that Gerow resigned...after being investigated by the DA's office, after the compainant denied to press charges and then after Sherriff decided to do another investigation. Why would he have to do another investigation...he was cleared. It seems to me like the sherriff didn't get the answer he wanted so he was looking for a way to get him to leave his position anyways.
I want to enter the law enforcement field, but the more I see of the NHCSO the less I want to be there.

First of all some people

First of all some people don't know when to stop talking, and only talk about what they really know about!!! Why don't you call the airport and ask them why they did not house the chopper for them. How often on a daily basis where you around him to be able to say that he sat at home and did noting but collect a paycheck and get out of dept. What he did was wrong, and derserved a internial investigation, BUT ONCE AGAIN somepeople DO NOT know when to keep thier mouths shut!!!!
If you are going to run your mouth about someone make sure you know all they fact first.


Before you comment on something you know absoulty NOTHING about, get your facts straight! What is there for Gerow to pay the county back for....NOTHING he did this county a favor by providing this county a service that he did not have to provide. When Gerow first started flying for the Sheriff Department he volunteered him time,servics, and his OWN Helicopter to the county and did not recieve a dime in his pocket, only to provide gas to fuel the helicopter. Why would the county contract the airport for housing when Gerow was providing the service for FREE. Gerow was on duty even when the heilcopter was not in use, he responded to calls just as any Sheriff would do, he did not sit at home and collect a check. When the time came, the Sheriff department offered Gerow a position, Gerow did the same BLET School that every other sheriff that is employed with the county has done, there were no loop holes for him, he was not given special treatment. Gerow had a talent that no one else had, and they saw potential in him as a sheriff and offered him the position, in order to hold the position of Helicopter Piolt he had to have LT status. If somoene wants to go and try filing a charge for communicating threats, and they take it to this level of investigation...they may need to investigate some of their employes who Drink and Drive, or assult their happens everyday. So I think next time you should probably think before you speak and know the facts to the issues you are speaking on. The guy that

Well, 1234... Lt. Gerow has

Well, 1234... Lt. Gerow has a good friend in you. It's good to see a friend standing up for the honor of a friend in need.

You state that Mr. Gerow did the county a service, using his own helicopter. This should be very easy to prove by consulting the flight logs for the aircraft and providing details of the missions flown on behalf of the county.

You state that Mr. Gerow had a talent that no one else had. While not a "dime a dozen", there are many skilled helicopter pilots with military, commercial AND law enforcement training. I'm certain that former Sheriff Causey would have employed ordinary diligence and would have advertised for the position. It should be easy for the Sheriff's office to produce the document trail leading up to the creation of Mr. Gerow's job and satisfy that a transparent hiring process did take place. If this job assignment was in the form of a reward for extraordinary public service and volunteerism, Mr. Gerow's flight records would substantiate that.

Now that the county has its own helicopter, the Sheriff should publish the records of its missions paying particular attention to the law enforcement role that these missions played in terms of achieving the mission of his department, to protect and serve. Did the helicopter assist in rescue of anyone? Did it assist in a drug interdiction? Did it assist in recovering stolen property?

In business and management we always have to account for our accomplishments to justify our compensation... as a voter and taxpayer, be assured that I will be looking closely at the accomplishments of this department before I vote for the continuation of this sheriff.

As to Mr. Gerow's rank: the rank of lieutenant carries management / supervisory responsibility and command authority. In the ordinary law enforcement paradigm, this rank in conferred after significant additional education and often years of experience. Mr. Gerow and the citizens of New Hanover County have been blessed that he did not botch a command decision in the field. While my corporate helicopter pilot is highly respected, he is not by any means a part of senior management.

Finally, your closing comment that drunk driving and spouse assaults happen every day, to this I say "so what". The character I look for in a law enforcement officer is personal restraint and sober good judgment.

You can help answer the question of whether former Lt. Gerow is a dedicated public servant who is the victim of a misunderstanding blown out of proportion or an intemperate loose cannon who did the taxpayers a favor by quitting.

The Facts ARE!

First you need to learn how to spell and write a letter! Second good ole "SID" bought the chopper without getting permission in the first place. He was the kind of Sheriff that thinks "it's easier to ask forgiveness rather than permission". He bought that thing before he even knew there was money in the coffers to pay for it! So this is the way he will be if and when he becomes a County Commissioner. He also thinks he can run the Sheriff's Department from above. Good Ole Sid? Please vote for someone else. He would make a good Dog Catcher!

No to Causey nonsense

Causey as this helicopter history reflects is part of good ole boy network that has led to cronyism and corruption in County--which has cost us all dearly in this County. We cant afford poor leaders like Causey, Caster and Catlin---we need change and better leaders--these guys represent a failed past--- We have better leaders in the wings with people like Goolsby, Berger and even Butler----anybody but the good ole boys----lets keep them out of office


While he may not have been paid for using his own helicopter or volunteer work, he has been paid a substancial amount of money to house the county chopper. You're only partially right. This is a fact.


Thank you for speaking up also about this. I agree that what Scott did was wrong, but somepeople talk without knowing what they are talking about.
It is nice to see people taking a stand.


I was born and raised here in New Hanover County and I met this guy before....I think he was very RUDE and disrespectful towards myself and family. He thought that he was better than everybody else. I was talking to a Raleigh Police officer the other day in Kure Beach and he stated that Raleigh Police does not even have a helicopter in there city....WHY do we need one here in this SMALL county like Wilmington???? I'm glad this guy is NO longer a cop!!!!

Quick Response,I must of hit

Quick Response,I must of hit a nerve! I thank you for posting about my comment I made earlier. Since I know absoulty NOTHING. Let's take sometime to discuss your response so you can clear things up.

1)When Gerow first started flying for the Sheriff Department he volunteered him time,servics, and his OWN Helicopter to the county and did not recieve a dime in his pocket, only to provide gas to fuel the helicopter. (Who in the world would volunteered his time,servics, and his own Helicopter to the county to not receive anything for doing that. So your saying that he just recieved Gas.Where is the original Helicopter that he owned when he was volunteering his services. I guess he still ownes it and didn't trade it in on the new Helicopter. Maybe that why he was donating his Helicopter and his time to get free and clear of debt. I would do that)

2)Why would the county contract the airport for housing when Gerow was providing the service for FREE.( The News said that he was getting payed $5,000 a year for storage and insurance.That's not free or was that before when he was using his own Helicopter? Please fill free to elaborate.)

3)Gerow had a talent that no one else had, and they saw potential in him as a sheriff and offered him the position, in order to hold the position of Helicopter Piolt he had to have LT status. ( I agree he has a talent that no one else had. The Sheriff offered him that position because he had to make it Legit. The Sheriff had to put him on the payrole. Sheriff Causey wouldn't even consider joining together with other countys or WPD because he would not have control.)

4)In order to hold the position of Helicopter Piolt he had to have LT status.( Wrong! That has nothing to do with holding the position of the Dept. Helicopter pilot. But it does have alot to do with his pay rate $55,000 a year. You can't join the Dept. tomorrow as a deputy fresh out of BLET and get paid his Salary. I guess I don't know what I'm talking about).Please Elaborate if you would like?


Way to make up things to

Way to make up things to support your argument. Nowhere does it say the Helo pilot must be a LT. He was hired as a LT and received LT pay while going thru rookie school. He was even given a gun, badge, and vehicle while in school when he couldn't even use any of it. This guy got paid to sit at his house and wait for someone to call him.

The smartest move the Sheriff's Office could have made was to get rid of the Helo Unit and go in with the City on Sable

Just information

Unfortunately, because of an age old law, Sheriff's in NC can swear in a deputy for up to one year before that person completes BLET. It doesnt make sense, but it's there.

You are exactly right, but

You are exactly right, but from what I've been told, before you can be issued a weapon you must first qualify with it. The only qualifications Gerow received were during rookie school which does not count.

Gerow got paid for nothing?

So you saying that Gerow got paid to sit around? Of course the sheriff said the cost of the helicopter was being paid with drug money, was Gerow being paid with drug money too? Was any of that moeny supposed to go to the schools?

Dont tell me he had a county car too?!?!!

This sheriff is getting out of hand.

Yes, Gerow got paid to sit

Yes, Gerow got paid to sit around. Anyone that has any clue knows that the Helo wasn't up flying around for his entire shift as that would have cost way too much money. And when he wasn't flying around he was sitting at his house instead of where he should have been...up at the sheriff's office. I'm sure there was some sort of work he could have been doing.

As far as the vehicle, yes he had some sort of SUV. He used it to drive back and forth to BLET...he was the only deputy that has been given a vehicle while still in school (from what I've been told). Not only that, I heard that he actually flew the Helo to class one day. Don't know how true that is, but I wouldn't doubt it

Causey is/was the problem!!!

"This sheriff is getting out of hand".

Not THIS sheriff, THAT sheriff. This sheriff didn't buy the helicopter, didn't decide to pay him to keep it at his house, and didn't decide to make him a LT. Causey made those decisions, McMahon inherited this mess. A reasonable person would know that McMahon wouldn't shake too much up until he's elected, not just "promoted". That would be a bad idea.
I expect to see changes in November. HOPEFULLY New Hanover County will remember what DUMB decisions Causey made, and won't put him in a position to make them for the whole county next!

McMahon is part of it

With your logic McMahon is a victim of Causey's role as Sheriff when in fact McMahon is part of the conspiracy. McMahon changed party affiliation to get the job as sheriff, showing to be a coward's attitude. McMahon was Chief Deputy when the decision was made to buy the helicopter. McMahon was Sheriff when he made the decision to keep the helicopter program and not do away with it the second he became in charge.

Let's not forget that McMahon also passed along the trash when it came to his buddy Charles Smith and looks as if he has done the same thing with Gerow by allowing him to resign instead of fire him.

No you cant put Ed off as a victim of Causey's rein, no this just proves he still plays those same games, he is no different. God help us if we don't get a change in November.