Mecklenburg County Sheriff Selection Process an Embarrassment

Most of you probably haven't been paying attention to what is going on in Mecklenburg County with the selection of the next sheriff. The very popular Sheriff Pendergraph has moved to Washington to take a job with the Department of Homeland Security. Members of the Democratic Executive Committee gather tonight to choose his successor. Holy mother of pearl, what a nightmare! You will find background here.

As of Monday Democrats were choosing between acting Sheriff Chipp Bailey, Chief Deputy since 1994 and Nick Mackey, an attorney and former Charlotte police officer. One is very respected and is endorsed by Sheriff Pendergraph. The other has lost the respect of many in the community and isn't qualified to be hired by the Sheriff's department.

Chipp Bailey has almost 30 years experience in law enforcement. He is well respected in the community and by his colleagues. He has opened his personnel files for review and admits that about 30 years ago he was suspended for having an accident in his Mecklenburg County police car and acted outside department policy by firing a warning shot at burglars.

Nick Mackey is an attorney and former Charlotte Mecklenburg Police officer. He was with the force for 14 years. He resigned in 2003 after being suspended and charged with padding or falsifying his time sheet. He denies the allegations, however chooses to not open his personnel file for review. He says he resigned to prepare for the bar exam. Police Chief Darrel Stephens will not reveal personnel information, however says he would not rehire Mackey.

That's not all of the problems some see with Mackey's candidacy. From The Charlotte Observer:

Mackey, according to court documents, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in September 2005, saying he owed $379,627 mostly on student loans and credit cards. In February 2006, the case was closed, records show. Such filings generally release someone from personal liability for most debts.

The tax lien, according to another court document, was issued on Sept. 27, 2005, and said Mackey owed the Internal Revenue Service $12,153 in taxes, interest and penalties from tax years 1997, 1999, 2001 and 2002.

Bankruptcy might not disqualify someone for the office of sheriff, but in Mecklenburg County, that office carries the responsibility of overseeing a budget of over $100 million dollars. That takes some sound financial management skills. Mackey says the debt is student loans incurred because he sought so many advanced degrees. As admirable as advanced degrees are, there comes a point when a reasonable person might decide it was time to pay off some debt before seeking another degree.

The Observer's investigation showed that Bailey has no bankruptcies or liens and has not personally been named in a law suit, but has been named in suits at least twice in his role as Chief Deputy.

There's something even more troubling (to me) in Mackey's very recent past.

Mackey was accused of driving 80 mph in a 45 mph zone on N.C. 49 near W.T. Harris Boulevard in June, court records show. In September, he was charged with driving 65 mph in a 45 mph zone on University City Boulevard near John Kirk Road. Most recently, he was accused on Halloween of driving 54 in a 35 mph zone on South Boulevard near Scaleybark Road.

Two of the three charges were dismissed after Mackey said he made his case to assistant district attorneys.

He tried to talk to a prosecutor about the most recent charge as well, but a supervisor intervened and decided to prosecute the case, said assistant district attorney Bruce Lillie, who oversees misdemeanor prosecutions.

"From reviewing the (other two) cases, I could not find an evidentiary reason why the cases were dismissed," Lillie told the Observer.

In the past six months this man has chosen to violate the speed limit. Oh, I know, speed limits are flexible for most of the people who read here, but I bet even all you lead-footed people out there would see a problem with a man who habitually drives 19 - 25 mph over the speed limit in very, very busy business and shopping districts.

On Tuesday, City Councilman Warren Turner entered the race. Warren has been a probation officer for 18 years and is a good guy. He admits Bailey has the experience to do the job, but it is something he's wanted to do and thinks now would be a good time to get his foot in the door. Turner has not been under the scrutiny the other two candidates have because of his late entry, however, he is an elected official and I can't recall reading anything negative about him.

Here's the real kicker. Mecklenburg County Democrats are prepared to select Mackey as the sheriff. Why? He got busy and organized precincts. There are questions about whether he gave enough notice of the precinct organization meetings and some voters may be disqualified, but it appears the numbers are in his favor.

So, some Mecklenburg County Democrats are preparing to select for an office that is charged with enforcing the law, a man who apparently avoids obeying the law and seeks special treatment when he gets caught breaking the law. I don't care if it is just a misdemeanor traffic violation. This doesn't sit well with me. It doesn't sit well with just about every Democrat I know in Mecklenburg County, but it is apparently acceptable to some Mecklenburg County Democrats. We'll know how many later tonight.

It's a great day to be a Mecklenburg County Democrat.

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Comments

I wrote another piece in Firefox

and lost it. Wasn't prepared to have to write it over. The more I wrote the madder I got. I really was trying to be fair to Mackey. I'm sure I didn't succeed.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

You were perfectly fair

If it sounds like Mackey's an incompetent jerk, that's because he probably is. It's an embarrassment that he's even being considered.

Where does Myers Park Pat stand on this?

Honestly, I have no idea

I'm sure he isn't getting into it b/c he is a Republican and it's a decision for Democrats to make. I imagine he's backing Bailey since he's the sheriff's pick. Pendergraph didn't make too many enemies from any party while he was in office. I didn't always agree with him, but...I rarely agree with anyone 100% of the time.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Elected law enforcement baffles me.

I don't know what to think about it; I'm not sure I have the right words to express how wrong I think it is. I don't think that DA's should be elected, I don't think that judges should be elected, and I don't think that sheriffs should be elected. I think that requirements should be set for each position by one of Anglico's infamous commissions, and then the positions should be filled by qualified personnel who don't have to run for reelection.

But you know. I could be wrong.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

The King rules period!

I don't think that DA's should be elected, I don't think that judges should be elected, and I don't think that sheriffs should be elected. I think that requirements should be set for each position by one of Anglico's infamous commissions, and then the positions should be filled by qualified personnel who don't have to run for reelection.

But you know. I could be wrong. *Icloud

You sure are! You have just remove the very principle of democracy that "we the people" should vote for our leaders or remove them. Nothing personal, but that is the very reason why we don't have elite Dukes, Lords, Kings or other suck up unelected fools chosing our future.

I knew I'd get a rise out of you on this, Max.

I agree with you on most elected officials. And I'd be willing to give on judges - perhaps. But I would prefer that law enforcement officers be trained and effective at their jobs - not politicians.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

The voters are not as dumb as most establishment folks think

I knew I'd get a rise out of you on this, Max.
.

I agree with you on most elected officials. And I'd be willing to give on judges - perhaps. But I would prefer that law enforcement officers be trained and effective at their jobs - not politicians. *lcloud

Good for you! The voters are smarter than you think on corrupt judges......As long as the cops are not trained by Blackwater, you won't hear me complain...

And then there were two

Turner wasn't nominated.

1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

I believe he may have withdrawn

He pretty much said he planned to earlier today if he felt there was no chance for him to win. He may have asked the person who planned to nominate him not to do so.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

He was Kept Out...

of the room during nominations. The news said Turner and the person who was supposed to nominate him were kept out of the room by the fire marshalls because the room was at capacity. When they asked to have the nominations re-opened it was voted down. What a mess.

I am pretty sure that the county chair could disqualify

the exec. comm. members from the precincts organized by Mackey. According to the NCDP Plan of Organization, if a precinct does not organize during the appointed day, day(s) or window usually in Feb. or Mar. then the county chair appoints a temporary precinct chair who then has thirty days to organize the precinct. Precincts are not to be organized willy nilly for just this reason. Your county chair can control this activity.
Also precincts do not have equal votes on the exec. comm. The voting strength for each precinct is weighted according to the democratic votes for governor in 2004. So the numbers of votes necessary to rig the vote must be calculated with that in mind.
From the info in your post this guy has no business becoming sheriff. IMO, It could, and should, be prevented.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

Agreed

I believe some with the party did try to disqualify as many as they could - those who should have been according to the plan of organization - and there was quite a stink.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

The MCDP sent out emails

inviting people to organize precincts by Nov 20 specifically so they could vote for Pendergraph's replacement.

As I understand it, the stink over the newly organized pct's has to do with failing to give the required amount of public notice for the upcoming organization meeting.

Mackey got elected

What a disgrace.

That's Mecklenburg County for you



Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

GOTV works

...if you do it.

Don't believe any of ya'll were there

I was and I voted. The only disgrace that happened was the way the Democratic Party handled this. The candidates knew the rules (or should have) and Nick Mackey out hustled and out campaigned Chip Bailey. We all know politicians that weren’t the most qualified but got elected anyways.

I voted for Mackey, not because he was black, but because I don't like Bailey's views on immigration reform. Pendergraph is in bed with Sue Myrick, Robin Hayes and Patrick McHenry on deportation policies and on how we handle non violent offenders.

We all know people who have screwed up in their past and now lead productive lives (I am one such person) so before you go slamming on people because of their pasts, let he who has no sin cast the first stone.

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

Good to have another side to the story

But still . . . the pattern of serial screw-ups on Mackey's part don't give me a lot of confidence. It's one thing to say let bygones be bygones in general, it's another thing to make a screw up your sheriff.

I'm guessing the guy will be under the microscope all the time . . . which all by itself is an unfortunate distraction.

Dear, each day that goes by is part of your "past"

We can always forgive indiscretions, but there are times when certain indiscretions will and should disqualify a person for certain jobs/elected offices.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

TMD - Also I wasn't slamming Mackey on his past

I'm simply reporting the facts and stating that the problems Mackey has experienced in the past two years - and especially the past 6 months - bother me.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

What bothered me most

was this:

Police Chief Darrel Stephens will not reveal personnel information, however says he would not rehire Mackey.

Call me crazy, but that's a red flag.

Gee thanks

So you traded the man who was far beyond the best qualified for the job for an incompetent crook simply because you didn't like the fact that Bailey would actually uphold the law.

I'll bet folks in Charlotte are real happy you were there to represent them last night.

Carolina Politics Online

I disagree with his decision

to vote for Mackey, but I will tell you that on the whole the folks in Mecklenburg County are damned lucky to have TrueMeckDem there to represent them. I know him personally and trust him implicitly whether I agree with his vote or not. He is truly one of the good guys.

If Mackey does turn out to be an incompetent crook, then he'll get his due.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Wow, I think I agree with every point in that sentence

It's getting a little colder in Hell, methinks. ;-)

The fallout from this is not going to be pretty. Bye bye county commission if we don't have strong campaigns from every single Dem candidate in Meck.

The good thing about this is that some people might care about organizing precincts now ...

1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.

I always wanted to be the avenging cowboy hero—that lone voice in the wilderness, fighting corruption and evil wherever I found it, and standing for freedom, truth and justice. - Bill Hicks

Brrrrrr

:)

I know...you said sumpin the other day I agreed with and I didn't even comment. hehe

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

You are welcome

This just confirms I made the correct vote.

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

No, It Confirms You're Incompetent

You decided to screw over 900,000 people, plus the additional hundreds of thousands that work in the county like myself, because of your own personal prejudice towards one policy you didn't care for. You chose to pass up a man with 30 years of qualifications for a man who couldn't get hired as a police officer or a sheriff's deputy because of his own sketchy background, in addition to the fact that he will be in charge of a departmental budget of $100 million when he couldn't even handle his own finances. You and your ilk sent a firm message to the people of Charlotte last night and that message was pack up your bags and head for the county lines because the future of your city is political hackery, incompetence, and bigotry.

The honorable thing for you to do would be to resign from your committee post because you have proven that you are not qualified nor capable of making rational decisions that will affect other peoples' lives.

If this had been a special election decided by all the voters of Mecklenburg and not just a handful of party toolboxes, Bailey would have won in a landslide. You failed to do your duty and everyone who voted for Mackey last night is a disgrace to the Mecklenburg Democratic Party.

Carolina Politics Online

CP, You're obviously angry

and you and I agree on which candidate should be serving as sheriff, but let me set you straight on something...well...at least get something out there. You're still welcome to believe what you like.

TrueMeckDem did not decide to screw over 900,000 people. He chose to stand up for people he feels are being wronged - people who do not have a voice in our government. It was his right to do so. I do not have to agree with him and I don't, but I appreciate and respect his thoughtfulness and the passion he brings to his advocacy. You don't have to trust what I say about TMD, but I wish you would. I know he took this decision seriously.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

My ilk?

I will be sure to let my friends know they are my ilk

"jump in where you can and hang on"
Briscoe Darling to Sheriff Andy

:)

Lots of people don't like my ilk either. I usually consider it a compliment.

Nick Mackey

Nick Mackey will NEVER serve one day as sheriff of mecklenburg county - you can absolutely count on that. Wake up democrats and stop embarrasing yourselves in front of the world. Why on earth would you vote this guy in knowing he won't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting re-elected in 3 years????
Congratulations to the black caucus for handing the sheriff's office to the republican party on a silver platter and start saying your goodbye's to Mackey cause he will not wear the tin star.

nick mackey clarification

In case anybody wonders - clarifying my previous post - I see no way the county commisssioners will approve this selection of Mackey.

They are legally bound to

...but they can wait three years to do so.

Re-election would be tough if that's the case for some of them, but it is one of their options.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.