Charlotte, NC - A change, could be coming to a department that has long stood by their traditions. Attorney Sean Perrin said, "Since 1776, Sheriffs have been able to hire or fire whoever they want.”
The position of Sheriff in the state of North Carolina is an elected position. Meaning it falls on the ticket and is voted on by the people. But now, ex-Mecklenburg County Sheriff deputies have filed a lawsuit claiming they were fired for not supporting the sheriffs election campaign.
More than 50 sheriffs showed up to the NC Supreme Court on Monday hearing from attorneys on both sides after allegations surfaced that the ex-employees were fired by former Sheriff Chipp Bailey after his 2010 victory. Attorneys for the Sheriff’s office say it's the right of the sheriff to hire and fire who he wants and who agrees with his plans as voted into office.
Perrin said, "The public's vote would be wasted because the sheriff would have to retain employees that are not loyal to him."
The executive vice president of the NC Sheriffs association agrees, saying quote:
"The Sheriffs' association supports the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's office as they go through this litigation. The position of Sheriff is an elected one and the sheriff must be responsive to the people of the county. The Sheriff has the right to select people who will work for him with the same interests. It is also the Sheriff's office and the Sheriff's responsibility to uphold the will of the people who voted him into the office and if he finds anyone working for him who is not upholding that, it is his right to replace that person."