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PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Pender County employee has been charged with releasing confidential personnel records to the media. The Pender County Sheriff’s Office charged James Thomas Bellizzi with a class 3 misdemeanor.

Earlier this month, WWAY and other media outlets received records belonging to Pender County Health Department employee Shirley Steele.

The Sheriff’s Office investigated the leak. The investigation led deputies to Bellizzi, who works in the Health Department’s Environmental Health Division.

A magistrate issued a criminal summons for Bellizzi yesterday. He is due in court August 24.

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