RANDOLPH COUNTY — Sheriff Greg Seabolt said Friday that an outside investigation has cleared him of any wrongdoing in a complaint filed this past spring about the use of public resources for his reelection campaign.
Seabolt held a press conference in Asheboro to announce the findings. The accusation dating from this past May was examined by the State Bureau of Investigation.
Seabolt said the accusation also was investigated by an outside agency, the Forsyth County District Attorney’s Office headed up by Republican District Attorney Jim O’Neill.
“An out-of-county district attorney reviewed the case and concluded that no charges will be filed,” Seabolt said. “The basis of that conclusion was the lack of evidence to support criminal charges.”
The accusation centered on Seabolt using a county-owned vehicle to transport signs for his campaign. The complaints filed against him said the action was a misuse of a county resource for a political campaign activity.
Seabolt told The High Point Enterprise this past May that the incident was a misunderstanding. The sheriff said at the time that he used a county-issued pickup truck to haul away old campaign signs for disposal.
The signs, which were in a trailer attached to the pickup, were damaged, faded or out of date. Seablot said his intention wasn’t to tout his candidacy but dispose of the signs.
“The signs were taken to a dump where they were destroyed,” the sheriff told The Enterprise four months ago. “They were not in the shape they needed to be to be put out for campaign purposes. I didn’t try to hide anything. It’s no big deal.”
One of the complaints against Seabolt was filed by Eric Hicks, who’s among at least three announced challengers to Seabolt in the Republican Party sheriff’s primary that voters will settle next March.
Hicks told The Enterprise that he continues to believe what Seabolt did was wrong.
“The fact remains (that) a taxpayer vehicle was being used to haul both personal property and campaign materials,” Hicks said. “It is my opinion, and the opinion of many others I have spoken with over the past few weeks, that Sheriff Seabolt’s actions have and will continue to bring negative influence and negative imagery to Randolph County and the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office.”.
In Seabolt’s statement released Friday, the sheriff said that he contends the accusation against him was politically motivated. Seabolt is seeking his second term in the 2022 elections.
“This tactic is typical dirty politics, a political strategy that is tearing this nation apart,” Seabolt said.
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