COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A judge heard arguments Friday morning about who should be the sheriff in Columbus County.
Former Sheriff Lewis Hatcher filed an injunction in early January.
He asked for a judge to make him the sheriff for the time being. Friday, the judge said he felt that he did not have the power to grant the injunction.
Jody Greene has been serving as sheriff, but there have been questions about Greene’s residency and other election procedures.
The judge has set a new court date of February 11 to continue the trial.
“I was really encouraged that folks came out today. That they’re involved in the process. We want to make sure that we use every part of the process that we need. sometimes, some of these items are not cut and dry. But we need to lean on those things that we put in place,” said Andy Anderson, who is an activist in Columbus County.
Anderson says he is friends with both Hatcher and Greene. He says the county needs to make sure that whoever ends up in office is the proper party.
“This lawsuit is not about who received the most votes. It is not about who won the election. It is not about who the better candidate is. And it is not about what is fair, because the law is not always fair,” said the judge.
The judge says the trial will likely be moved to Pender County, and the jury will be made up of members who are not associated with Columbus County.
The judge also ordered Greene to post a $25,000 bond that would serve as the money that Hatcher lost during from not being the sheriff, if necessary. Greene is required to post that bond within 10 days.