Interim Sheriff William “Bill” Rogers was sworn in this morning at 7 a.m., along with deputies and Animal Protective Services staff.
Rogers was appointed to the temporary post by the County Commissioners Wednesday. He retired from the State Highway Patrol just this past Friday.
The Evergreen resident and county native was tapped for the post after District Attorney Jon David filed a petition Tuesday to remove Jody Greene form the office. Greene was recorded making racial and vulgar remarks about employees in a 2019 phone call with then-interim sheriff Jason Soles.
Now the Democrat candidate running against Greene for the county’s top law enforcement post, Soles said he released the recording last week because county commissioners, the district attorney and other officials ignored his requests for help. Only Democrat Commissioner Giles “Buddy” Byrd would listen, Soles said in a media interview. Byrd was arrested by the sheriff’s office in 201- for stealing a storage building, a charge that was eventually dropped by a special prosecutor. Several commissioners and the district attorney’s office said they never heard about the recordings until they were contacted last week by the media.
Superior Court Judge Douglas Sasser signed the petition accusing Greene of corruption, maladministration and failure to discharge his sworn duties. Greene will his own day in court Oct. 24.
Rogers will serve until Greene is reinstated or a new sheriff is sworn in Nov. 30. He was given the oath by Clerk of Superior Court Jess Hill, and joined by his family.
“Columbus County citizens can be assured that business and patrols will carry on as normal today, and in the future,” the sheriff’s office said in a press release. “We welcome Sheriff Rogers to our family. His guidance, leadership, and experience will be valuable assets to the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office, Columbus County Sheriff’s Animal Protective Services, and citizens.”