FAIR BLUFF, NC (WWAY) -- There's a new top cop in the Columbus County town of Fair Bluff, and he has a familiar name. Justin Hewett replaces Marty Lewis, who was fired after being arrested last month.
"We are going to do all that we can as the police department and myself as the new chief to do better and to make Fair Bluff a safer place," Hewett said right after accepting the job.
After more than a month, the Fair Bluff has finally moved past the cloud created by the arrest of Lewis, who was charged with selling drugs on duty.
Mayor Randy Britt says he looks forward to the new direction the town is going in with Hewett.
"Police department security in your community is of vital importance," Britt said. "I think reorganizing with Justin putting a new department together is going to be a very big positive for the town of Fair Bluff."
Hewett is the son of former Brunswick County Sheriff Ron Hewett. Ron was sent to federal prison after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice and embezzlement charges in 2008.
"I learned a lot of my law enforcement experience from him," Justin Hewett said of his father. "He did do things that he possibly should not have done. He did not do things that other sheriffs and administrators in North Carolina don't do daily."
Information that led to Ron Hewett's removal from office in 2008 included county money being spent on Justin, including giving him a badge when he was too young to be a deputy. Even after Justin was hired as a police officer in Holden Beach, records showed $1,622.52 in taxpayer money spent to fuel a county vehicle his father assigned to him.
Both Justin and Britt say he is a different man than his father, and Justin's record speaks for itself.
As well as serving in Holden Beach, Justin Hewett also assisted the Columbus County Sheriff's Office in Fair Bluff after the removal of Lewis.