Craven County Sheriff Jerry Monette went before the county commissioners Tuesday asking that a magistrate be assigned to the new judicial center.
The facility opened two years ago on Clarks Road, several miles away from the current downtown location. So far, no magistrates have moved there.
Sheriff Monette asked the commissioners for help in getting at least one magistrate there. "What we're seeing is a dramatic increase in our jail population and what we feel is it directly attributes to the lack of having a magistrate on sight out there to manage the jail population." Sheriff Monette says it's that increase and travel time to and from the magistrate's office in downtown that's costing the county over a million dollars each year. He also says it's also a safety concern.
But not everyone thinks moving the magistrate is in the best interest of the citizens. Attorney Kirby Smith says he's concerned for how citizen's who don't have transportation will get to Clarks Road.
The county commissioners do not have the power to send the magistrates to the new facility...that decision can only be made by the district judge.