Neither Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown nor District Attorney Ernie Lee could comment on camera Wednesday about a questionable gas receipt case in Onslow County.
Tuesday, Onslow County officials released a letter written by Sheriff Ed Brown to an employee under investigation for questionable gas receipts.
It was last month that District Attorney Ernie Lee says that he requested the SBI to look into possible irregularities surrounding gasoline receipts and the use of county credit cards. Sheriff Ed Brown had originally contacted and met with Lee as a result of discovering the possible irregularities. Lee called Tuesday's release of the letter "administrative," and neither official could comment Wednesday because of the pending investigation.
Sheriff Ed Brown released this statement Wednesday:
"This matter is still under investigation by the SBI. As I stated in the previous New Release, District Attorney Ernie Lee and the SBI Investigator gave me the go ahead to address the matter as it relates to internal operations. I have handled the matter administratively. I do not plan to speak any more referencing the gas receipts matter until the SBI investigation is over and District Attorney Ernie Lee has spoken."
In the letter to the unnamed employee, Sheriff Brown said that the person in question is one of 6 employees out of a list of 29 that had their names circled because they had not turned in their gas receipts required by policy.
Sheriff Brown said that a review of the employee's 2012, 2013, and 2014 gas records was conducted.
In the letter, officials say the employee used their personal vehicle for 14 months in which the county did not pay for any gas. Sheriff Brown said that the employee showed him documentation where county functions were performed in the employee's personal vehicle, traveling approximately 5,000 miles for which no compensation was ever received. Brown noted that the employee's attorney advised them against giving up the documentation. If presented, the county would have owed the employee $2,775, according to the letter.
Sheriff Brown goes on in the letter to say that it was found that the employee used $262.76 for gas that did not benefit the county. Sheriff Brown says that a cashier's check was presented Tuesday by the employee for the amount requested.
The letter says that investigation of the other 5 employees was satisfied.
The sheriff says that any other action relating to the use of the gas card is on hold pending the outcome of the SBI Investigation.
A copy of the sheriff's letter can be found underneath the above picture.