Here's your $25,000 question. Will Nick Mackey ever serve a day as Mecklenburg County Sheriff?
Chances are, if he does, it won't be without a battle and probably not the kind you're thinking. Before Mackey can serve as sheriff he has to qualify for a surety bond, probably a Public Official Bond. State law allows the county commission to set the amount of the bond, but it is not to exceed $25,000.
There is a possibility that Mackey might not be able to qualify for the bond. If that is the case he will not be able to take office and the county commission will vote on the next sheriff.
According to North Carolina state law:
§ 162‑10. Duty of commissioners when bond insufficient.
Whenever the board of county commissioners finds that the sheriff has been unable to provide the bond prescribed by the board, the board shall give written notice to the sheriff to appear before the board within 10 days and provide a sufficient bond. If the sheriff fails to appear or provide a sufficient bond, the sheriff shall forfeit his office, and the commissioners shall elect a suitable person in the county as sheriff for the unexpired term, pursuant to G.S. 162‑5 or G.S. 162‑5.1, as appropriate. (1879, c. 109, s. 2; Code, s. 2074; Rev., s. 2813; C.S., s. 3932; 1983, c. 670, s. 6.)
The amount of the bond is relatively small, but I checked several bonding companies and found that most seriously consider credit background for a bond of this size. The bond is required to guarantee the public official, in this case the sheriff, does the job and is responsible with funds with which he or she is entrusted. An important indicator for the companies issuing the bonds is past employment, credit and other financial history.
Mackey was charged five years ago with lying about the hours he worked, but he also has a very large bankruptcy filing that is only two years old, a tax lien that is two years old and is currently due in court on a traffic violation. None of this exactly works in his favor. At the very least he will be placed in a high risk category and there is a chance he cannot be bonded. Here's what State Farm says they look at when making a decision:
Underwriting aspects of Public official bonds include understanding the duties required of the Official, the reputation (character) of the official, and experience of the official.
Most of the companies I researched indicated they checked credit as part of their investigation, but some do not. However, employment history is checked with all I found online and Mackey's troubles with the Charlotte Police Department will surely show up.
I don't know if the next step is to see if Mackey can be bonded or if they will wait to see what the investigation into the selection process brings. I didn't get a chance to call anyone on the county commission today to see if they would take any action prior to hearing from the state party about the protest. While we wait to find out the next step, I found some interesting information about getting hired as a Deputy Sheriff with Mecklenburg County. Here are the base requirements:
To be considered for employment as a Deputy Sheriff* or Detention Officer, an applicant must:
be 21 years of age prior to hire date be a U.S. citizen pass a physical fitness test not have been convicted of a felony. Not convicted of a Class B Misdemeanor within five years from date of offense. Not convicted of a Class A Misdemeanor within three years, no more than two in a lifetime as mandated by the North Carolina Sheriffs' Education and Training Standards Commission not have had a DWI conviction within the past five years. No more than one in a lifetime. have a high school diploma or GED certificate possess a valid NC driver's license or be able to obtain one have no more than four suspensions or revocations of driver's license in lifetime. reside within a 50-mile radius of Jail-Central if a Deputy Sheriff be in excellent physical health with no condition which might impair performance of duty pass a physical examination pass an extensive and thorough background investigation including, but not limited to, community, employer and credit checks have weight commensurate with height and body frame have vision correctable to 20/20 in both eyes with no color blindness meet training and testing performance levels mandated by the North Carolina Sheriffs' Education and Training Standards Commission
That whole background check thing could give Mackey trouble if he were trying to actually get hired by the Meck. Co. Sheriff's department. Here's a peek at the application process:
Once the application is completed, all applicants will be required to successfully complete the following steps in order to be considered for hire:
1. Applicant orientation/physical assessment
2. Criminal/Driving history check
3. Online personal history questionnaire
4. Initial interview
5. In-depth background investigation
6. Polygraph examination
7. Medical examination
8. Drug test (urine)
I'm thinking numbers 2, 5 and 6 would give Mackey trouble. Of course, he doesn't have to go through this level of scrutiny. He didn't have to qualify to be anything. He just organized some precincts. Folks say he out hustled Chipp Bailey. I'm not so sure "hustle" is the best word choice if you're a Mackey supporter.