RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) — The North Carolina Board of Elections has reversed a decision that Jody Greene was not domiciled in Columbus County a year before the 2018 November election nor on election night.
The board did agree to the decision on the local level to dismiss another protest that claimed there were irregularities that tainted the municipal election.
Monday, the state board heard arguments from attorneys for both Greene and Lewis Hatcher. Hatcher lost to Greene by 37 votes. Hatcher eventually sued Greene asking for pay. That was following the State decision that Greene was wrongfully sworn into office in December 2018 as a local election protest denial was appealed to the state.
Greene and Hatcher settled outside of court and Greene took a leave from the Sheriff’s Office pending the decision of the local and state elections boards on the protest.
In April, the amended protest was given to the county elections board. The board decided 3-2 that Greene was not domiciled in Columbus County and did not meet state residency requirements to run for Sheriff.
That was challenged by Greene’s attorney before the state.
“The local board misapplied the law,” said Boyd Worley. “They had all of the facts but they misapplied the law.”
Board member Ken Raymond disputed the county board chair. He cited her statements made at the April hearing that were provided in a transcript. Raymond said the chair used her personal opinion to make the decision.
Board member Jeff Carmon challenged Raymond’s claim. Carmon said there was not enough evidence to show Greene was planning to build a home at 1049 Page Mill Road in Cerro Gordo.
“It seems to me that Mr. Greene’s domicile for the purpose of elections is on 1049 Page Mill Road,” said board Chair Bob Cordle.
The NCSBE voted 4-1 against a protest of Greene’s residency in the county. Their decision maintains Greene was in fact domiciled and met residency requirements to run for Columbus County Sheriff
The state board also decided the reported irregularities during and before the 2018 election were not enough to impact the outcome. NCSBE board members voted 3-2 to dismiss the protests. The state requested that the county board now certify Greene as the elected sheriff of Columbus County.
There is an option for appeal. That would go to the Wake County Superior Court. We’ll have more from Raleigh coming up tonight on WWAY.