Judge Dismisses Claims Against Sheriff

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A federal judge has dismissed civil rights claims against the Pitt County Sheriff's Department. The family of Stacey Pollard filed the lawsuit last summer against the sheriff's department, the sheriff and several high ranking officers, saying they covered up Stacey Pollard's death.

Pollard was married to Deputy Michele Pollard when he turned up dead in a swimming pool at their Grimesland home in November 2006.

Federal Judge Earl Britt today dismissed federal claims that Pitt County covered up the death, saying the family should have first filed a wrongful death suit in state court before bringing the federal civil rights case.

An attorney for the sheriff's department says the sheriff and his officers are extremely pleased with today's ruling.

The attorney for the Pollard family tells WITN News that the judge did not rule whether any of the allegations were true or not. David Sutton says he will meet with the family in the next day or two to determine what to do next. Among the options are to appeal Judge Britt's ruling, file the wrongful death suit in state court, or decide to do nothing.