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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A New Hanover County Sheriff’s deputy has quit in the midst of an Internal Affairs investigation.

The Sheriff’s Office says Lt. Jerry Easley, 42, resigned August 24 during an investigation into an administrative matter. Easley began working as a deputy with NHSO on April 25, 1995. He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant this past February and was assigned as a Watch Commander in the Detention Division.

Citing state personnel laws, the Sheriff’s Office says it cannot release any more information about Easley’s employment or the nature of the investigation. A statement from the Sheriff’s Office says Sheriff Ed McMahon “continues to maintain a high standard of conduct for every deputy and assures the citizens that every complaint is thoroughly investigated.”

Comment on this Story

  • flatblack

    Criminal investigations, yes (kinda), internal investigations (ie policy violations) NO!…also remember that policy violations are usually “innocent until accused”…

  • GuestGirl

    I’ll go ahead and put it out there at the start: Yes, I am a civil servant.

    While I do understand your assertion that the public has a right to know things about the people who serve them, I do NOT think the public has a right to know EVERYTHING.

    Case in point: New Hanover County began a policy last year of offering lower cost to employees who agree to join the county’s new health plan initiative. If an employee agrees to have checkups and screenings and all basic healthcare through the on-staff physician’s assistant, that employee will pay less for their healthcare. Does New Hanover County really need to be doing that? I’m not so sure. First of all, it means a reduced standard of care, because the county only offers a physician assistant, NOT a medical DOCTOR. Second, it sets the employee up for potential failure. Suppose an employee has a blood draw that reveals an illness. How long until the county finds a “reason” to terminate the employee in an effort to keep costs of treating that employee down? Third, it’s a basic privacy issue. You stated that the public has a right to know about every investigation. If the county’s PA investigates someone’s health, do you honestly believe those findings should be made public? HIPPA laws were created to prevent people from being discrimination targets.

    Are you basing your stance for this issue on the belief that since the public pays our salaries, the public should receive all information about the employees that tax dollars pay for? Based on that logic, EVERY employee everywhere – public and private – should have to turn over all their records. If I go out to eat dinner, should I be given all records pertaining to my server’s employment and health? After all, by paying for my meal and by leaving a tip, I’m paying that person’s salary.

    Where does the public’s right to know end?

    If I as a county employee break laws, yes, by all means, that is public record. But when it’s in the investigation phase, I’m not convinced that warrants full disclosure. After all, what is more important: Knowing what an employee did, or knowing that an employee with even a hint of impropriety will never again earn another cent paid by taxpayers?

    I realize as a civil servant that I have to give up some privacies, but YOU need to realize that underneath my badge, I am still a person.

  • OtherGuest

    Every citizen has every right to know the reasons any public employee is investigated or terminated.

  • Guest3434

    Why should citizens why the right to know personal issues of employees just because they are paid by the Government? Privacy should be a right to everyone.

  • Gramps1935

    It’s a shame when this kinda thing happens. We have a Sheriff who has to make the “tough call”, every now and then. The rules, and standards have to be enforced.

    So far, this Sheriff is batting 1000. By upholding the rules, he has not allowed any coverups, nor scandal, to set in on his term(s). Early on he got the message out: The rules apply to everyone, and nobody is above them. We have very good leadership at the WPD and the NHCSD.

    Lt Easley is a good man. Every now and then, even good men make mistakes, and cross the line.

  • guesty

    He quit before the matter could be fully investigated. In theory, the investigation will now stop and he will be free and clear to apply anywhere else.

  • B M

    Why do so many law enforcement people resign when they are under an investigation? We all know that 99% of the time the charges are made up don’t we???

  • Unknown Truth Teller

    Because they’re human. Just like the rest of us. I don’t know the details of this situation.

    Several issues, like dishonesty, bigotry, and adultry, are not illegal; but they cannot be tolerated, in a professional law enforcement agency. Not to say either of these were the issue. I don’t know the situation.

    Just like they cannot be tolerated, they cannot be revealed. Because of privacy matters. Again, I have no idea why he chose to resign, nor what the details are. Many times, it is something wrong, but not necessarly illegal.

    But I can gurantee you this: Not the Sheriff, nor anybody, in Internal Affairs at the NHCSD, is “making anything up”. Nobody in Law Enforcement likes situations like this. But its something that has to be done.

    They were investigating an alleged problem, and he appearantly, wisely, chose to resign. This speaks volumes. How anyone can imply this was “made up”, is totally beyond me.

  • SurfCityTom

    he can apply for another job elsewhere and his record shows resigned rather than terminated?

  • Guest1

    We have a right to know ONLY if it affects the public, if this was a personnel matter it is none of our business, quit being so nosey! Law enforcement deserves more praise than criicism for the work that they do, they put their life on the line each and every day to keep people like you safe, spend a day on the job with them before you criticize. We are lucky we have anyone going into law enforcement with all of the crazy people on the street.

  • B M

    CORRECTION! the government does not and has never paid anyone, the TAXPAYERS pay the bill”s, sorry to have to point this small detail out to you.

  • Some people will say or do desperate things just to get what they want, regardless of the outcome or who it affects. May god bless these people. As in one of the past comments you’re innocent until accused. From what I understand, this man was given a choice, so of course any wise person would resign rather then to be fired and lose their pension. From what I understand, this 18yr veteran was going to be fired if any part of the investigation APPEARED misleading, so why take that chance. Who determines what is misleading? He was a great person and a good leader,and has NEVER been in any trouble with the Sheriff’s Office during his almost 18yr career. It’s some of the other ones that has gotten away with things for so long because of the buddy system. Their violations have been over looked or not brought to the Sheriff’s attention.


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