Community Blogger: Daryl BarberI want to clear up some misconceptions that some of Sheriff Gay's former employees and backers have made the absurd statement that the incumbent sheriff is the best sheriff in the nation. Where they get that from I have no idea. Unless they are referring to the line of succession since he has had no opposition and been in office so long, to the NC and National Sheriffs Association Leadership. This association is a fundraising and policy think tank for sheriffs. Good politicking, a long time in office and cronyism goes a long way there also. FIRST OF ALL THE BEST SHERIFF IN THE COUNTRY IS SHERIFF JOE ARIPAO OF MARICOPA COUNTY AZ. (in my opinion) Let’s go back to the beginning of Wayne’s illustrious career. He was hired straight from being a bookkeeper at Brown and Williamson Tobacco Co and appointed a detective by then Sheriff Robin Pridgen. In three short years time he was promoted to Detective Lieutenant.
Now all this time mind you the incumbent sheriff and some of his staff were rumored to be protecting the largest prostitution and gambling operations on the east coast for extortion payments and time with some of the girls. Wilson was like the wild west back in those days.
Brothels from the Cherry Hotel, Forest Manor Inn and many others along with gambling operations and illegal liquor houses dotted the county landscape. Apparently now sheriff Gay, if he didn’t know about all this corruption going on at the time, he was the only person in Wilson county who didn’t. And if that was the case he must have been some detective.
To make a long story short Pridgen and others are indicted on federal racketeering charges. Pridgen takes the blame for the whole mess. His chief Deputy Tony Owens was acquitted and Wayne skipped town during the whole trial and unpleasantness only to pop back up later on to call in some markers with his wealthy friends and benefactors and upset the incorruptible Lewis Taylor, a former state trooper appointed to clean up the Pridgen / Owens and Gay administration corruption mess.
Now if I am wrong in my recollections and I have researched archives endlessly just because the total absolute corruption that existed totally amazed me, I will stand corrected. It reminded me of the movie Walking Tall of famed McNairy County TN where Sheriff Buford Pusser and his corruption busting cleaning up of his county.
Now let’s get more updated as a lot of people say it don’t matter what was done in the past. Wayne has literally faced no or only token opposition in all of his reelection bids. But not this time. He faces an extremely qualified and knowledgeable and educated Special Agent with the State Bureau of Investigation in Calvin Woodard. My cousin Lacy Pittman, just retired as an instructor from the SBI. He has nothing but high praise and respect for Calvin’s leadership and law enforcement skills as well as this Godly family man's spiritual and moral qualities. Calvin’s credentials and personal background are well founded and they are impeccable.
Now let’s get back to Sheriff Gay. He has two deputies on his staff who have been charged with DWI. One was convicted. The other got Wayne’s business partner Allen Thomas to plea his DWI to a lesser offense. Both were over the legal limit. One was a deputy with the Wayne County Sheriff Dept and was drunk driving in a patrol car. Now, Gay saw fit to hire him for our sheriff dept. This guy may have been the son of the former Wayne County Sheriff. I know he was a Sasser.
Fast forward to a couple of weekends ago. A semi retired Major with a career in law enforcement under Sheriff Gay’s watchful eye was caught for drunk driving. If this were not an election year this would or will get pleaded down to a misdemeanor and swept under the rug as so many things do.
An insurance agency that Wayne is a co-owner of was the subject of a scandal during the Moore and Perdue governors race. Apparently it was given a selected list of state retirees addresses and personal info as well as a sweet inside exclusive deal that made the company and one of its principals, none other than Wilson County Sheriff Gay a lot of profit that other non politically connected companies did not have fair access to. Gay was a big donor to Moore's campaign.
No one is saying Wayne has done anything illegal. But folks small county sheriff’s just don’t become millionaires with mansions and summer houses off a sheriff’s pay. And there is nothing wrong with anyone wanting to better their standing in life and accumulate wealth.as long as it does not come by defiling the public trust of your sacred office as an elected official. You have to make that judgment in your mind if any of Wayne’s powerful friends, contributors and benefactors and the connections made during his sheriff’s career have contributed to his wealth and if in your mind everything was above board.
A lot of new people have moved into Wilson county in the last 28 years and a lot of them have or had no idea about Wilson county’s wild west days back in the 70"s and Wayne’s hiring, taking under his wing and training and promoting him to Detective Lieutenant by Sheriff Robin Pridgen, the most corrupt sheriff in NC history. I think it is something some people would like to know and use in helping them decide who they want as the chief law enforcement officer in this county.
Not to count he is a big supporter and 1000 plus donor to the honorable congressman G K Butterfield on an annual basis. WE CONSERVATIVES REALLY NEED TO UNITE BEHIND THIS CONSERVATIVE SHERIFF. LOL!!!!!!!!!!
All of this information and then some was published in another member blog who supports the sheriff and chose to delete all that informative archives unfortunately.
FOLKS, I AM AN UNAFILIATED VOTER, I VOTE FOR THE BEST MAN, NOT PARTY.
I HONESTLY FEEL IN MY HEART THAT CALVIN WOODARD IS AN,HONEST, FAIR AND EXTREMELY QUALIFIED CANDIDATE TO LEAD OUR SHERIFF DEPT. SOMETHING THAT SHERIFF GAY HAS NEVER FACED BEFORE IN AN ELECTION , LET ALONE A DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY WHO DUE TO WILSON COUNTY AND THE STATE OF NC BEING IN CORRUPT DEMOCRATIC CONTROL FOR THE BETTER PART OF THE LAST 150 PLUS YEARS ,USUALLY MEANS THE PRIMARY WINNER IS THE SHERIFF. CALVIN WOODARD IS A GODLY FAMILY MAN WHO WILL RESTORE THE FAIRNESS, HONOR AND DIGNITY BACK INTO THE WILSON COUNTY SHERIFF DEPT THAT THE CITIZENS OF WILSON COUNTY HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO EXPECT FROM THE SACRED TRUST OF THE OFFICE.