• 57°

Indictments detail charges

GATESVILLE – The fate of Gates County Sheriff Randy Hathaway and three of his deputies now lies in the hands of the same judicial system the foursome has previously used to seek justice against criminals they have arrested.

Hathaway, GCSO Captain Glynda Parker, and deputies Lavar Newsome and Tobe Ruffin were all arrested on Monday by an agent with the NC State Bureau of Investigation. The arrests came after each was indicted Monday by a grand jury.

The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald obtained copies of the indictments, which are as follows:

Randall A. Hathaway – Obtain property by false pretenses on Sept. 8, 2017. The grand jury found that Hathaway, on that date, unlawfully, willfully and feloniously did knowingly and designedly, with the intent to cheat and defraud, obtain $100 from the Gates County Board of Education by means of a false pretense which was calculated to deceive and did deceive.

Randall A. Hathaway – Failure to discharge duties of office (a misdemeanor) from Sept. 30, 2016 to Jan. 22, 2018. The grand jury found that the defendant unlawfully and willfully did, as the Gates County Sheriff, omit, neglect, and refuse to discharge a duty of his office by failing to supervise and maintain evidence custody protection and failing to properly maintain such evidence.

Randall A. Hathaway – Obstruction of justice (a felony). The defendant unlawfully, willfully, and feloniously did obstruct justice [at some point on or before Jan. 22, 2018] by threatening an individual [name omitted] to prevent [that individual] from speaking with investigators. This act was done in deceit with intent to defraud.

Glynda Parker – Obtain property by false pretenses on Nov. 17, 2017. The grand jury found that Parker, on that date, unlawfully, willfully and feloniously did knowingly and designedly, with the intent to cheat and defraud, obtain $100 from the Gates County Board of Education by means of a false pretense which was calculated to deceive and did deceive.

Lavar Newsome – Obtain property by false pretenses on Oct. 12, 2017. The grand jury found that Newsome, on that date, unlawfully, willfully and feloniously did knowingly and designedly, with the intent to cheat and defraud, obtain $100 from the Gates County Board of Education by means of a false pretense which was calculated to deceive and did deceive.

Tobe Antonio Ruffin – Obtain property by false pretenses on Sept. 11, 2017, Sept. 25, 2017, Sept. 29, 2017, and Oct. 10, 2017. The grand jury found that Ruffin, on those four dates, unlawfully, willfully and feloniously did knowingly and designedly, with the intent to cheat and defraud, obtain $100 from the Gates County Board of Education by means of a false pretense which was calculated to deceive and did deceive.

In each case of obtaining property by false pretenses, the Sheriff and his three fellow law enforcement officers allegedly signed up for duty as a school security officer on the noted dates and did not perform in that capacity; collecting pay for working as a deputy and as a school security officer.

On the aforementioned charges, Hathaway was given a $15,000 bond; Parker and Newsome a $5,000 bond each; and Ruffin a $20,000 bond. All of the bonds were unsecured and each was scheduled to appear in Gates County District Court on Feb. 13 to answer the charges.

Also on Monday, District Attorney Andrew Womble petitioned a superior court judge to remove Hathaway from office based on the SBI’s investigation. The judge granted Womble’s petition and then appointed Gates County Deputy Robert Jordan as the interim sheriff.

Jordan is well-known in Gates County, serving as the Resource Officer at the high school, and as an assistant football coach for the Red Barons. Jordan is also a minister.

Meanwhile, during an emergency meeting on Tuesday night, the Gates County Board of Commissioners confirmed Jordan’s appointment.

According to court documents, Hathaway’s suspension is temporary. As far as his future is concerned, court records show that he will have a removal hearing on April 9 at the Gates County Courthouse.

Hathaway has been with the Gates County Sheriff’s Office since July 12, 1999 upon his hiring as a deputy at that time. He was appointed Sheriff in September, 2016 after the retirement of long-time Gates County Sheriff Ed Webb.

Parker has been with the Gates County Sheriff’s Office since July of 2000. Ruffin was hired in October, 2015, while Newsome joined the department in December of 2016.

Following the arrests of the Sheriff and his three deputies on Monday, the foursome was removed from the county’s payroll. However, Gates County Manager Natalie Rountree stated on Wednesday that their benefits will continue for 30 days upon consultation with an attorney.

With Monday’s arrests coupled with the arrest, and subsequent firing, of former GCSO Sgt. Brandon Hawks last month (see story on page 1 detailing new charges in that case), the number of full-time deputies working Gates County has decreased from 13 to eight. The new interim Sheriff is included among the staff of eight. There is one, part-time deputy still employed, as well as two office staffers (one each full and part-time).

Rountree said the commissioners addressed that situation at their Tuesday meeting.

“We will let Robert [Jordan] assess that and review the work schedule and then if additional [law enforcement] assistance is needed from other counties, he can reach out to those counties,” Rountree said.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

email author More by Cal