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‘Every Black That I Know, You Need to Fire’: Former North Carolina Sheriff, Who Resigned After He Made Racist Remarks About Black Staffers, Reelected

A small county in North Carolina has re-elected its sheriff despite his resigning weeks ago after being recorded saying racist comments. The less than 2000 voters cemented him as the top office of the county’s law enforcement.

On Tuesday, Nov. 8, Jody Greene, running on the Republican ticket, won back his job as Columbus County sheriff, beating out his Democratic opponent Jason Soles by the unofficial count of 1,576 votes, 54% of the total ballots cast this year’s election, according to the Huffington Post.

Greene received 10,034 votes to Jason Soles’ 8,458 votes.

Soles talked about the end of his campaign, saying to WWAY TV, “I’ve told everybody win or lose, I’m a winner either way, because we’ve met some of the best people Columbus County has to offer on this campaign trail, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”

“I’m thankful for my supporters who have been there through thick and thin,” he continued. “You know, they didn’t sign up for this, I did, but everything we’ve been through this campaign, to have this much support rallied behind me, I’m just so appreciative and humbled.”

To those supporters, Soles gave a heartfelt concession speech, saying, “A lot of you was harassed, a lot of you was threatened, a lot of you was bullied, and I’m sorry. I’m sorry that this journey could not have been more pleasant than it was, but I’m really hoping and praying that this does open the eyes of some people in this county,” the News Observer reported.

Just a month ago, in October, Greene stepped down from his position as sheriff after an audio recording of him using derogatory language about Black people was leaked. In 2019, during a rant, one of Greene’s former employees captured his colorful language and dropped it around the time of election, believing it would hinder his chances of winning the seat again.

The election results proved his theory wrong.

The Columbus County Board of Elections will certify Greene’s win on Friday, Nov. 18. The North Carolina State Board of Elections says a canvass meeting takes 10 days to certify the results after Election Day. The state notes, “because elections thrive on transparency, the canvass meeting is open to the public.” After this canvass meeting, his election to the sheriff’s office will be official.

After votes were in and he was declared the presumptive winner Tuesday night, Greene took to his Facebook and said, “Thank you all!!!!!”

On Monday, Sept 26, a local news outlet released a recording of a fiery 2019 conversation between Greene and Soles about his Black staffers that he believed leaked information to his political opponent about his eligibility to serve as the county’s sheriff.

On the audio, Greene called the employees snitches before saying he wanted to “clean house” and felt betrayed.

“I’m sick of it. I’m sick of these Black bastards,” Greene says. “I’m going to clean house and be done with it. And we’ll start from there.”

Greene referred to several African-American employees as “bastards” and communicated his plans to fire them for supposedly undermining him, according to a petition filed by the local district attorney’s office in September.

“Every Black that I know, you need to fire him to start with, he’s a snake!” Greene was quoted in the petition as saying.

Soles said he recorded the conversation because Greene while talking about four issues that agitated him, started to have a racist tone.

This call was not unusual, as Greene had called Soles several times at night after his appointment to vent about his plight.

“This one particular phone call that [I] received, he made the comment that he hated Democrats. And then he said, ‘I take that back. I hate a Black f***ing Democrat.’ And, and I knew right then, I was like, ‘Wow, this is coming from the sheriff.’ And, I had to start recording those conversations,” Soles said.

The audio is six and a half minutes long and was said to have taken place in February 2019.

On it, Greene can also be heard saying to Soles, “They’re gone. This is as fair as I’m going to be. Just giving you a heads-up, that’s coming. When me and [attorney] Boyd [Worley] and [wife] Angie [Greene] go through it tomorrow, the first numbers we see, they’re gone. They ain’t going to make it, brother.”

“I’m telling you, they might as well find somewhere else to go. Because if you ain’t with me – I ain’t referring to you – but if they’re not with me, they’re against me. And they’re gone. And that’s just how it’s going to be,” he continued. “Clarity – whatever her name is, I don’t trust her. Dawn says she’s racist… If I have to fire every mother f***er out there, guess what?” Greene can be heard saying at the beginning of the recording.”

At the time of the audio clip being released, the district attorney’s office said via a statement, “should Greene win the November election, the District Attorney’s Office would have an ethical obligation to file and will file, a new Petition to Remove Greene from that term of office based on the allegations alleged.”

District Attorney Jon David has already filed paperwork to have Greene stripped of his office.

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