Archived Story

Freeman appointed to ABC Board

Published 7:15am Tuesday, June 4, 2013

WINTON – Curtis Freeman said there is no personal agenda with him seeking a seat on the Hertford County ABC Board.

Howard Hunter III stated that membership of that board should not include a county commissioner.

Those two commissioners had a difference of opinion here Monday morning during the regularly scheduled meeting of Hertford County’s governing board. In the end, following a 4-1 vote, Freeman was elected to a three-year term on the county’s ABC Board.

The issue came before the commissioners as part of their scheduled agenda, a portion of which was a listing of several boards where the terms of its members were nearing expiration. The county commissioners have the responsibility to appoint members to those service boards.

Among the action needed to be taken was an appointment to the ABC Board, which consists of five members serving staggered terms. June 30 of this year marks the expiration of a three-year term of ABC Board member Hazel Pierce. She has served on that board since June, 2004 and had submitted a letter to the commissioners asking to be reappointed.

Two others – Larry Holloman and Quinton Turman, both of Ahoskie – also filled out an application seeking the appointment to the ABC Board.

Prior to any discussion on the appointment, Commission Vice Chairman Bill Mitchell put a motion on the floor to appoint Freeman to Pierce’s seat.

“I’m not in agreement with Commissioner Freeman being on the ABC Board,” Hunter said following Mitchell’s motion. “I make a motion we approve Hazel Pierce.”

Commissioner Johnnie Ray Farmer asked Freeman to clarify information about his resignation from the county’s Department of Social Services Board.

“I resigned from the Social Services Board because on the nights they meet I have another obligation,” Freeman said. “This ABC Board issue is nothing new; we’ve talked about it several times in the past about one of the commissioners being on that board. You (Farmer) even asked me at one time would I consider being on the ABC Board and I told you that I would.”

“It’s one of the highest paid boards in the county,” said Hunter, referencing the $150 per meeting stipend earned by ABC Board members. “I feel that a commissioner does not need to serve on that board. I know you (Freeman) have stated in the past the need for citizens to apply to serve on these boards. I know that we commissioners are also citizens of this county, but we need to leave this to the citizens.”

In the vote, Mitchell, Commissioner Ronald Gatling, Farmer and Freeman voted for Freeman’s appointment to the ABC Board. Hunter cast the lone “no” vote.

In a phone call placed to the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald following the meeting, Freeman again brought up the fact that the commissioners had discussed the possibility of having one of their own on the ABC Board.

“That was due to some irregularities on the ABC Board,” he explained. “We felt it was best for one of us to serve on that board. It’s not something I particularly wanted to do or was it something I went after, rather it was more along the lines of having a commissioner on that board.”

The remaining members of the Hertford County ABC Board (with their term expirations listed in parenthesis) are: Winfred Hardy of Ahoskie (6/30/2014), Karen Rowe of Winton (1/31/2015), Lonnie Simmons of Murfreesboro (1/31/2015), and Lillie Owens-White of Murfreesboro (6/30/2015).

  • lemonshirt

    What is the mission of the ABC board?
    Why don’t we have a Cigarette board?
    …a Bacon board?
    …a Sugar board?

    Suggest Removal

  • bereal

    Hears-two-you need to get your facts straight. First I’m appalled that you would attempt to destroy someones reputation by printing lies. Mr. Freeman was never accused or implicated in any wrong doings with the Ahoskie Police Dept.and was never asked to leave. He left on his own due to a difference of opinion with Russell Overman who was later let go by the town. Mr. Freeman served the town of Ahoskie faithfully for 20 years and was one of the best officers the town has ever had. Freeman did not go immediately to the school system, he worked for Rivers correctional for a while. Mr. Freeman then came to the school system and accomplished what many could not. Under his direction, he made the our children safer in the schools by getting the gangs out of our schools and cutting down on the violence in our schools. These are the facts and not just lies spreaded in an attempt to ruin a persons reputation. You can find out the truth just like I did, ask the people involved. Any citizen that want to know the truth, ask the CHIEF OF POLICE OR ANY OFFICER THAT WAS WITH THE DEPARTMENT AT THAT TIME. If you are upset that Mr. Freeman was put on the ABC board fine, but don’t use lies and misinformation to strengthen your agender

    Suggest Removal

  • Hears-two-ewe

    If Commissioner Curtis is doing it to add vigilance to the ABC process, as he claims, he should forgo his stipend per meeting or donate it to charity. He has a history of finding ways to squeeze unearned money from the public, including the acts that caused him to leave the Ahoskie police department under a legal cloud and with a deal to resign or be charged with multiple felonies. Of course, he immediately reentered public employment in the school system and we dutifully elected him to the county commissioners.

    Hertford County has a clique of insiders who take care of themselves first and a core of voters who follow their instructions like sheep herded through a gate. Freeman and Ronald Gatling are central to the clique’s existence, but represent the second generation of members, all of whom screech like a wounded horse at the slightest public acknowledgement of their disgraceful conduct. A prime example of the first generation was the manipulative Senator Robert Holloman, who at death was days away from a criminal indictment by the attorney general, in the Congressman Frank Balance criminal case. The response here was to name a street after him. As citizens we fail because we keep re-electing these incestuous narcissists, much to our peril.

    Suggest Removal

  • ahoskie123

    Astounding. We have a commissioner (Freeman) who rarely makes the commission meetings and still gets paid for being on the board, now he appoints himself (shouldn’t he have abstained himself from voting since it was about him) only to get on a board that has the highest stipend for attending? Come on Hertford County, can’t you see corruption and ineptness. Kudos to Mr. Hunter for stating the truth…same on you Mr Gatling (think we haven’t forgotten about the sexual harassment case?), Mr Farmer (who doesn’t think or vote independently) and Mr. Mitchell (yes man).

    Suggest Removal

    • bereal

      ahoskie123 check your facts. Commissioner Freeman has only missed 3 in the last year . Before you print something, know what you are talking about. This can also be verified by going to the county managers office and checking the minutes of the meetings.

      Suggest Removal

  • hcnative

    Thanks to Howard Hunter III for standing up for what is right!!

    Suggest Removal

Editor's Picks