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UPDATE: Sheriff Manning Comments On Pollard Case

Three weeks after a Pitt County Sheriff employee leaves her post as a lieutenant, Sheriff Mac Manning speaks to WITN about her departure.

Lt. Michelle Pollard stands to lose her certification as a law enforcement official after the Sheriff's Education and Training Standards Commission started to investigate claims of personal misconduct.

Manning was on vacation when we learned about this pending revocation of Pollard's certification. He's back in town now and provided limited details about case, since he says it is a personnel matter.

The standards commission alerted the sheriff's office there was probable cause to revoke Pollard's certification because of her personal behavior. It says in May 2006 the lieutenant was observed smoking marijuana on three different occasions. It says the deputy also took part in a wet t-shirt contest and publicly exposed her breasts.

Sheriff Manning says Pollard left July 1st from the sheriff's office and plans to appeal the decision at her October 21st hearing. Manning says he doesn't know what the basis of the commissions concerns are and says while there are questions about her behavior, he just can't discuss the good or the bad about a former employee.
"The state really prohibits me to discuss personnel matters so I'm very restricted as to what I really can say about her past employment with us."

In 2005, Pollard's husband, Stacey, drowned in the couple's pool. His mother filed a wrongful death suit, saying the sheriff's office botched the investigation. That suit was later tossed out of federal court, but later refiled in state court and is still pending.

Manning says his office stands by its investigation in that case.

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A Pitt County sheriff's deputy, whose husband's death raised a lot of questions, is no longer with the department.

Lt. Michelle Pollard, who headed the department's gang unit, also stands to lose her certification from the N.C. Sheriff's Education and Training Standards Commission.

Pollard wouldn't talk to WITN Wednesday. She ordered our reporter off her property in Grimesland.

In 2005, Pollard's husband, Stacey, drowned in the couple's pool. His mother filed a wrongful death suit, saying the sheriff's office botched the investigation. That suit was later tossed out of federal court, but later refiled in state court and is still pending.

The standards commission said there was probable cause to revoke Michelle Pollard's certification because of her personal behavior. It says in May 2006 the lieutenant was observed smoking marijuana on three different occasions. It says the deputy also took part in a wet T-shirt contest and publicly exposed her breasts. Photos reportedly of that contest are posted on a web site that was created by Stacey Pollard's family.

In her appeal to the commission, Pollard says she has never smoked marijuana. She says in February Sheriff Mac Manning approached her and said someone had made allegations about her using drugs. Pollard says Manning ordered her to take a drug test, which she says she passed.

In answering allegations that she was nude, Pollard said it started as a domestic violence motorcycle run.

"I was trying to support this cause. However, a good deed turned into a nightmare," said Pollard.

The deputy claims she was drugged after she left her beer at the bar for a short time.

Pollard says the pictures have been "very humiliating for me personally and professionally." She says she was demoted to sergeant, sent home without pay for four days and received a salary reduction.

According to an appeal filed with the commission, Pollard is asking for an October 21st hearing on her appeal.

We asked to speak to Sheriff Mac Manning and were told he is on vacation.


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