INDICTMENT: Pollard Tipped Off Drug Investigation To Former Jailer

A former sheriff's lieutenant is accused of tipping off the target of a drug investigation. That target used to be a detention officer in Pitt County.

Michelle Pollard was indicted Monday on one count of obstruction of justice and one count of willful failure to discharge duties.

The indictment says between April 19th and May 16th Pollard tipped off Gina Wooten of the ongoing drug investigation. The indictment says Pollard obtained the information "by accessing files of said Narcotics Unit from a computer system operated and maintained for the use of the Pitt County Sheriff's Department". It says a sheriff's department confidential source had purchased what was presented to be cocaine from Wooten.

Pollard, who has been the subject of an investigation by the Sheriff's Education and Training Standards Commission, resigned effective July 1st.

Wooten. who was arrested last month, used to be a Pitt County detention center. According to Pitt County Human Resources, Wooten, was hired on December 21, 1994 and left January 2005.

After leaving the sheriff's department, Wooten then worked as a state jail inspector. Records show she was hired on January 24, 2005 in the jail and detention section of the Division of Health Service Regulation. She left November 24th of last year at a annual salary of $48,798.

The indictment says Pollard warned Wooten to stop what she was doing and not to tell anyone that Pollard had contacted her. "The defendant's actions substantially and adversely interfered with the investigation and prosecution of Wooten" the indictment says.

Gina Wooten was arrested June 19th for possession of cocaine with intent to sell, two felony sell/deliver cocaine charges as well as marijuana charges and maintaining a dwelling for sell and deliver.

Pollard, who posted a $10,000 bond Monday afternoon, has a September 9th court date.


A former employee of the Pitt County Sheriff's Office has been arrested.

Reports indicate Michelle Pollard was indicted by a grand jury and charged with felony obstruction of justice and a misdemeanor, willingly failing to discharge her duties.

Records indicate she was locked up on a $10,000 bond. Detention officials say she made bond and was released.

The SBI was involved in the case.

Pollard left the sheriff's department July 1. She is appealing a decision by the Sheriff's Education and Training Standards Commission to revoke her law enforcement certification.

The commission said 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.

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.



Previous Story:

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.

Previous Story:

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.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WITN

275 E. Arlington Blvd. Greenville, NC 27858 252-439-7777
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 51805112 - witn.com/a?a=51805112