It's been one week since a jury found former Pitt County Lieutenant Michelle Pollard negligent in the wrongful death case of her husband Stacey. Thursday, the investigator who led that investigation back in 2005 spoke to WITN about the verdict.
Lieutenant Paula Dance says she was relieved the day Michelle Pollard was found negligent in a court of law. She says the verdict was validation. Six years ago when Lt. Dance led the investigation into Stacey Pollard's drowning, she asked for the S.B.I. to be called in. The sheriff at the time, Mac Manning, told his deputies to continue with the case instead and the department ruled the drowning accidental. It took several months before the SBI was notified. A year later, Stacey's family filed a lawsuit against the sheriff's office and Lt.Dance says she was blamed for it and later intimidated into leaving her position. Now she's been re-hired under the new administration led by Sheriff Neil Elks, and she says with the civil case over she hopes this will not be the end of the story.
"At one point I thought it was the beginning of the end. I certainly have litigation still going on and for me. It's the principle about the thing," said Dance.
Lt. Dance filed a lawsuit against former sheriff Manning. We reached out to the attorney of Michelle Pollard, but she did not return our phone call.