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Byrum arrested

Published 10:19am Tuesday, December 11, 2012

GATESVILLE – A long-serving member of the Gates County Board of Education stands charged with embezzlement, but has gone on the record to say he is wrongly accused.

Leslie Spencer Byrum, 54, of Acorn Hill Road, Hobbsville, was arrested last month on two felony counts of exploitation of the elderly. He posted a $3,000 unsecured bond and has a scheduled court date of Jan. 28.

According to Gates County Sheriff Ed Webb, Byrum, an accountant by trade, served an elderly female of the county who is currently residing in a Chowan County rest home.

“Mr. Byrum was in charge of her financial affairs and allegedly removed in excess of $10,000 from her account,” Webb said.

However, Byrum maintains his innocence.

“The true facts will come out in this,” he said. “My wife and I cared for this lady and her husband for over 12 years. To be honest, if I wanted to take something from her, I could have done it long time ago, but I didn’t then and I didn’t now.”

Byrum said he has hired an attorney.

“We feel we have a strong case; we feel confident that the court will rule in my favor,” he stated.

Webb said due to Byrum’s position in the community as an elected official, he chose to have the North Carolina SBI handle the investigation.

“The allegations against Mr. Byrum were reported to us in June or July of this year,” Webb said. “At that time I contacted our District Attorney (Frank Parrish of Elizabeth City) to fill him in on the status of this case and we both decided that the SBI was the best way to handle the investigation.”

An SBI agent from the Greenville office was assigned to the case. Webb said that agent completed his investigation in early November and warrants were drawn based on the findings of that probe into Byrum’s alleged criminal actions.

  • skippy1975

    I feel very positive about Mr. Byrum. I’m glad that he’s hired an attorney. He has served a great job for our school system. I hope he’s found not guilty.

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  • headband

    Glad to see an outside police agency is investigating the case. Had DA Frank Parrish handled it, no charges would have been filed.

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  • kathymalaspina

    This one is even hard for me to believe. I hope everyone lets the law take its course and remembers you are INNOCENT until proven guilty. It really sad that in today’s world you are actually automatically considered guilty and have to prove your innocent.

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  • TheOnlyOne

    “Leslie Spencer Byrum, 54, of Acorn Hill Road, Hobbsville, was arrested last month on two felony counts of exploration of the elderly. ”

    Pretty sure you meant “exploitation”

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  • y-me

    that’s nothing. look at Hertford Co. B.O.E. if you want to see shady dealings. they make Bernie Madoff look like an alterboy b4 his first visit to the church basement.

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    • ncsugrad

      You’re hilarious. Every article you bring the BOE up. It’s like you have a personal vendetta. What you should have done is organized better and voted them out in November. It sucks that the high school is in better shape than it has ever been, Early college is a huge success. Bearfield has a higher enrollment than 99% of elementary schools in the state yet still succeeds. How about move out of the county instead of complaining.

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      • kathymalaspina

        I get really tired of someone telling someone else to move instead of complaining. Last time I looked we still live in a free country with freedom of speech. This person is a taxpayer they can live where ever they want and COMPLAIN all they want…Its their tax dollars that pay these people and they have a RIGHT to voice their opinion.Also I see I am the only one who is not afraid to use their real name. Whats with that anyway?lol

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      • ncsugrad

        It’s why I suggested them get out and vote or organize better. Or get better candidates. Or hell, RUN THEMSELVES. Stop being a coward and complain and do something about it.

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