Ex-Columbus County Sheriff Jody Greene has resigned for a second time following controversy over recordings of racist remarks about Black people he made in phone calls to a former captain, according to WECT.
Greene had previously resigned as sheriff in October 2022.
Since Greene resigned just weeks before the November election, he remained on the ballot – and won reelection despite quitting.
Less than a week into his second term, Greene resigned again.
Below is a summary of the entire situation:
- Greene had been under fire after WECT broke the story at the end of last September when they were able to obtain and release the racist recordings that had been compiled by former Captain Jason Soles.
- Soles told WECT that back in early 2019 he began receiving late-night calls from Greene, including one that led him to begin recording those calls. In that call, Greene said he “hated Democrats” and then clarified his statement, saying, “I hate a Black f**king Democrat.”
- Calls for Greene’s resignation began as soon as the recordings were released. The Columbus County Branch of the NAACP released a statement saying that Greene “must resign” because “his actions have cast a cloud over his ability to execute the office with impartiality.”
- Columbus County District Attorney Jon David made a formal request for the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) to investigate Greene for obstruction of justice. David told WECT in September that his office would need to look into concerns about biased policing by the sheriff’s office and that there could be “issues for the sheriff or officers in his department being credible witnesses for criminal cases they investigated.”
- On Oct. 3, 2022, David made a formal request for Greene to resign as sheriff of Columbus County. In his petition, David wrote that Greene engaged in “racial profiling of sheriff’s office employees both personally and via other people under his command,” according to WECT.
- On Oct. 4, 2022, Superior Court Judge Douglas B. Sasser agreed to David’s request to suspend the sheriff until a hearing could be held on the petition for removal, WECT reported.
- In addition to the calls to resign, the suspension, the SBI investigation, and the examination of previous cases by the DA’s office, the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association also spoke out against Greene and announced that he had resigned from the organization.
- Greene faced accusations of misconduct, including malicious arrests, intimidating county commissioners and sexual harassment. Those accusations were in addition to the racist phone calls.
- Greene’s attorney, with Greene in attendance, announced the sheriff’s resignation just minutes after an Oct. 24, 2022, court hearing began.
- Despite his October resignation, Greene was reelected in November, defeating Soles, the man who reported the racist remarks that eventually led to Greene’s resignation.
- Greene was sworn in for his second term on Dec. 29, 2022. That same day, the district attorney filed a second petition to remove Greene from office and permanently disqualify him from serving again.
- On Jan. 4, Greene resigned for the second time. Kevin Norris, who served as chief deputy, was named as the acting sheriff of Columbus County. Though Greene is no longer sheriff, District Attorney Jon David said the criminal investigation into his actions will continue regardless.
- The Columbus County Board of Commissioners voted 6-1 on Jan. 5 to name Bill Rogers as sheriff. A former member of the NC State Highway Patrol, Rogers served in the position after Jody Greene’s suspension in October of 2022. Rogers was sworn in shortly after he was appointed.