Three Men Throw Their Hat In For Role Of Bertie County Sheriff

Monday was the first day candidates could file to run in the spring primary, and one Sheriff's race, where the Sheriff just stepped down, saw several people file to get their names on the ballot.

Three men are running to become Bertie County Sheriff, including one who was just appointed to the position Friday.

According to the Bertie County Board of Elections, John Holley, the Sheriff appointed after Greg Atkins resigned, Eddie Graham Junior and Brian Knowles are running to win the election for next term.

Atkins, who Holley appointed Chief Deputy says the original plan was to finish his term, which ends in December.

But because the department receives federal funds, Holley couldn't run for Sheriff and still keep his Chief Deputy job, unless he was appointed Sheriff first.

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It's a case of job switching for one law enforcement agency in Eastern Carolina.

Bertie County Sheriff Greg Atkins resigned from his job Friday, and county commissioners appointed Chief Deputy John Holley as the new sheriff.

Holley, who became the county's first African-American sheriff, then named Atkins his chief deputy.

Atkins says the two never discussed that a condition of the sheriff's resignation was that Atkins then receive the chief's job.

Atkins told WITN News the original plan was to finish his term, which ends in December, and not run for re-election so Holley could take the top post instead. But because the department receives federal funds, Holley couldn't run for sheriff and still keep his chief deputy job, unless he was appointed sheriff first.


Previous Story

Bertie County Sheriff Greg Atkins says he will step down at 2 Friday afternoon.

Atkins told WITN News the original plan was to finish his term, which ends in December, and not run for re-election so Bertie County Chief Deputy John Holley could take the top post instead. Atkins says he has worked with Holley for a long time and knows the deputy wants to finish his career as Sheriff. Atkins told us he doesn’t mind stepping down.

However, the Hatch Act is putting a twist in Atkin’s plan. The act was introduced back in the 1930’s to regulate political activities of federal employees. According to the measure an employee of the Sheriff’s Department can not seek office if the department has received a federal grant, and the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office has received government funding from the stimulus plan. Atkins tell us the act keeps anyone in the department from seeking a supervisory role except the Sheriff. So, Holley could not run for the Sheriff position unless he resigned now and was elected later, putting him out of a job until December.

To avoid that from happening Atkins says he’s going to step down Friday, Deputy Chief Holley will move to acting Sheriff and then he hopes the Bertie County Board of Commissioners will appoint him to be the permanent Sheriff at a meeting at 2pm on Friday. That way Holley will be able to run for Sheriff without resigning.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Bertie Citizen Location: Windsor, NC on Mar 18, 2010 at 05:47 PM
    I can't believe all the nutty stuff that appears on this site. John Holley has put his life on the line for more than 27 years to serve and protect the citizens of Bertie County, and this is the respect that he gets? There is NO more qualified person for this job. John has worked his way up thru the ranks for a Patrol Officer and for the last 12 years has served with distinction as Chief Deputy...if you don't believe me, just ask Greg. Will this county ever get beyond race and judge people as people? One day perhaps...
  • by Average Citizen Location: Jamesville, NC on Feb 28, 2010 at 04:04 PM
    At least you don't have Larry Cooper embarrassing your county by running for sheriff. Not that he could ever win, but if he talks to the media, we will be the laughing stock of the country. Barney looks normal compared to Larry.
  • by as usual Location: windsor on Feb 25, 2010 at 04:26 PM
    To Jesus is the man who can: I do pray before I vote, I do apply biblical principals to the one I cast my vote for, do you? Did you vote for a president that condones abortion? If you did then that is being a hypocrite, but I can't judge you, you probably voted for the one your preacher said to. It never ceases to amaze me how some people will tell you to vote for the one person that will apply biblical principals and then mark the candidate that is farther from that. I do believe God can throw this election the right way, I also believe God can allow Satan to have his way just to show us how wrong we are. Don't be blind.
  • by lordhelpus Location: windsor on Feb 23, 2010 at 01:14 PM
    I've known people to be in positions for years and they not know how to do their job the way it should be done. I work with someone like that. I'm younger and can run this place better than my boss and I'm told that all the time. We need someone that will actually go out and work....and doesn't mind it. Not just sit behind a desk and carry a title. The county needs a sheriff that will not ask his deputies to do something he wouldn't be willing to go out and do himself. That's what you'll get if John Holley wins. The county will be a sad place when it comes to crime if he wins. I want vote for someone just because they've been there a long time. That's just idiotic!!!! Right now Brian Knowles has my vote. He's a very intelligent man and a great police officer. Good Luck to all and God Bless them all.
  • by NSupport Location: Bertie County on Feb 23, 2010 at 09:38 AM
    I have read so many comments regarding this situation and truth be told nobody is really saying anything to cause this man NOT to get MY vote! Say he's a liar and say he's incompetent (if you can) but don't talk about what you don't know about. Until somebody can give me a reason to go another way? I'm solid with my decision. Here is a man who spent 28 years with the Sheriff's Dept., has experience and knows the people and yet some of you will never be satisfied. You don't stay in a position that long and not be in good standing. I wish John Holley the best! You know what you are and nobody can change that. Politics is what it is....but you keep the faith and the focus. Do the work let God do the rest.....With all the love I can gather....NSupport
  • by haha Location: windsor on Feb 17, 2010 at 07:08 PM
    derrick knox?
  • by bertieco Location: bertieco on Feb 17, 2010 at 01:49 PM
    we have yet another choice... derrick knox
  • by Baker Location: Williamston on Feb 15, 2010 at 05:34 AM
    Wanna hear a good one? Larry Cooper is running for sheriff again in Martin County.....HaHAAA!! Robert, Daffy Duck sounds like a good candidate when you look at it from that perspective. Baykha!!
  • by ? Location: ? on Feb 12, 2010 at 10:29 AM
    alright folks lets be reminded that its nots the 1920's or 30's. when will you people realize that a change is past due to the county. we as citizens in Bertie have been suffering long enough with the racist stereotypes that has destroyed the minds of all people in nearly every generation. just because a white man steped out of the highest leo position in the county doesnt mean that the dept is crooked or that they are up to something. also we need to examine ourselves and realize that just because we may have been caught up in our own mess doesn't mean that we have do disfavor all of the officers in Bertie. There are some good officers and they are not going to do favors for you when you messed up. they have sworn to their duty and they have to do thier job. so fall back off of the sheriff's dept and just wait to see what the future is going to bring. it is living proof that prayer changes things.
  • by Robert Location: Colerain on Feb 10, 2010 at 04:43 PM
    Daffy Duck for Sherriff !!!!!!!!!!!
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