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Former Sheriff's spokesman pleads to lesser charge

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- A plea deal tonight for an ex-New Hanover County Sheriff's deputy whose face you often saw on the news.

The Star News reports Charles Smith, the former spokesman for the New Hanover County Sheriff, pleaded guilty today to using a public vehicle for his own private use. That's a misdemeanor.

Smith won't serve any time or probation, but he does have to turn over all law enforcement credentials. Plus, Smith has agreed never to do police work in any state.

Smith, a corporal at the time of the crime, got in trouble for using the laptop computer in his New Hanover County Sheriff's SUV. He pulled driver license information about a friend from a state computer system. Smith wanted the information so a nightclub in Raleigh would allow his friend inside.

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