District Attorney Jon David officially requested Sheriff Jody Greene resign in a letter today (Monday).
David refused to comment on the letter, referring all requests to the public records branch of the court system.
Greene has been the target of controversy after Jason Soles, a Democrat challenging Green in November, released a racially charged, vulgar recording to a Wilmington TV station. Soles said he tried repeatedly to get the attention of law enforcement and government officials since he made the recording in 2019, but received no assistance. Only one county commissioner, Democrat Giles ”Buddy” Byrd, would listen, Soles said in the interview.
Soles recorded the conversation while serving as the court-appointed interim sheriff during a court fight over Greene’s residency.
Three commissioners and David have stated they never knew of the recording until last week. None remembered Soles approaching board members at a meeting during a recess, as Soles stated. David said he and the State Bureau of Investigation were informed of the letter last week for the first time. The SBI is investigating allegations of obstruction of justice against Greene and the CCSO.
In the recording, Greene tells Soles that he plans to fire all black employees of the sheriff’s office. Greene has questioned the authenticity of the recording.
David says in the letter that Greene’s ”comments are hurtful, offensive and deeply damaging to the proper administration of justice.
“The widespread dissemination of these comments has resulted in the loss of confidence , trust and respect” for the sheriff in Columbus County.
“Moreover, the ripple effects of these statements will negatively impact court cases in our criminal justice system, past, present and future.”
David notes that federal code requires prosecutors to disclose to trial judges conduct that could call into question whether race played a role in a criminal case.
“There can be no question that the use of racist language, directed at all officers under your command…brings the Office of the Sheriff into disrepute.
“My hope is that you will recognize the harm that your statements have caused and will make the honorable decision to resign.”
The letter does not say what, if any, actions will be taken if Greene refuses to step down.
This is a developing story.