First, congratulations go out to Republicans Doug Bridges, Deb Hardin and Ronnie Whetstine for winning election to the Cleveland County Board of County Commissioners. Also, to Micah Sanderson for his win in the District Court Judge Elections.
Congratulations also go out to longshot Sheriff’s candidate Clyde Ledbetter who ran as a Petition Candidate. Collecting over 4,000 signatures on a petition to put his name on the 2018 General Election Ballot. A “Petition Candidate” legally bypasses partisan party interference, generally known as Primary Elections. Such actions are seen as a threat to establishment Democrats and Establishment Republicans as well. Causing great consternation and backlash amongst the establishment. Also allowing voters an opportunity to vote for a candidate who do not have to answer to or be obligated to party “bosses.” (Personally, I think that is swell.) Congratulations also to Sheriff’s candidate Clyde Ledbetter for running a fact based, issue-oriented campaign. Despite the deceptions and negative tactics of Sheriff Alan Norman and some of his sycophants. More later on that.
Congratulations also go out to Tim Moore, Kelly Hastings, and Ted Alexander for their wins (by large margins) in highly contested races. Cleveland County is well represented in the General Assembly in Raleigh. Congratulations also go out to those other Courthouse candidates who ran without opposition. We always recommend leaving votes blank for uncontested races as a way to encourage the democratic process. But, sometime candidates are so strong that potential candidates just don’t run against them. Sometimes though, retaliation against opponents keeps opposition down. That is bad for the democratic process and should not be allowed or tolerated.
Plantation Politics as practiced by Cleveland County Democrats is a dirty, rotten and corrupt business pitting blacks vs. blacks and then blacks vs whites. The whole of the Democrat Primary this year was centered around Commissioner Eddie Holbrook trying to wrestle, through his Uncle Toms, one of the two black votes away from black candidates Chris Gash and Todd McIntosh, all the while trying to attract single shot white democrat votes for himself only. It worked. Chris Gash ran away with the Democrat Primary and Eddie Holbrook came in a far back second. McIntosh was eliminated by only 268 votes. In the General Election Holbrook tried to basically buy, with apparently unlimited funds, the election with ads, billboards, and a “sea” of campaign signs, mailers and paid and unpaid advertisements in the Shelby Star. Along with a slew of other dirty tricks. In the end, Holbrook’s tactics doomed both himself and Chris Gash to the bottom of the voter’s list. Holbrook’s defeat is by more than the margin for a recount, so Holbrook will soon be gone off the Board of Commissioners. Gash will just go home.
Now, if the newly elected Commissioner majority, Bridges, Hardin and Whetstine are smart, as soon as they are sworn in they will re-evaluate-in a public discussion-the County’s position on the Catawba Indian Casino, the money losers like the American Legion World Series, The LeGrand Center and the Earl Scruggs Center as well as the County Manager’s position, the $1 Million County Check, records in hand, allegedly made out directly to Eddie Holbrook as well as other issues facing Cleveland County. Issues such as failing schools, failing students, unmerging the merged, in name only, county school system, developing strategic plans for workforce development, etc. Plus minimizing all the waste and mismanagement in various county agencies. Plus cleaning up the “secret” Economic Development Partnership. A place I call the “Bermuda Triangle.” A place where $Millions of tax dollars go and “disappear” without a trace. All of this is a tall order for the new Commissioner Board majority, but myself and others have plenty of ideas to share with the Commissioners. Whether they want them or not.
As far as Judge Paksoy goes, the injustices meted out in Paksoy’s courtroom to the Clyde Ledbetter family, as related to how many votes Clyde Ledbetter received for Sheriff, appear to most likely be attributed to Paksoy’s losing margin with Cleveland County voters. Many people believe, as I do, that an injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere. Paksoy as well as Sheriff Alan Norman should have dome more to protect the children of Cleveland County instead of protecting a sexual pervert.
And, now I discover the Facebook based dirty campaign from the Sheriff’s Office. Under the name of Joel Shores, pictured in his Major’s Uniform of the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office. The Joel; Shores Facebook page portrays itself as some sore of “official” arm of the CCSO prone to giving out Sheriff’s Office information to the public. In the past several days prior to Tuesdays Election for the Sherriff Shores as well as Sheriff Alan Norman himself have used the Facebook page for misleading and deceptive “dirty politics” all the while accusing Norman’s opponent of dirty politics and personal attacks.
Personally, I believe such actions by Sheriff Norman and Major Shores to be egregious violations of ethics that tend to reinforce the beliefs of many that the Sheriff’s Office will target anyone that disagrees or criticizes the Sheriff’s Office, the Sheriff, or any member of law enforcement everywhere to be “anti-law enforcement” and targets of retaliation.
The fact is this. the Office of Sheriff of Cleveland County is an elected office and subject to public oversight. That is what elections are all about. Sheriff Alan Norman, Joel Shores and anybody else working at the Sheriff’s Office is working for the people and the people have every right to ask questions and demand answers from the Sheriff’s Office. No matter how embarrassing or unwanted those questions may be.
The fact is the Sheriff and Joel Shores attacked citizens who supported Clyde Ledbetter, Sheriff Norman’s opponent for the Office of Sheriff. One woman personally attacked had her deceased husband’s hunting rifle and shotgun seized from her home her second husband charges with unfounded felony crimes and the whole family was held hostage for almost seven years because the justice system in Cleveland County was trying to force the husband to accept a plea bargain. Finally the case was dismissed and a Judge had to order the guns returned to the rightful owner. And the victims of the CCSO retaliation had to cough up over $30,000 in lawyer fees during this process.
And, how do I know about this? Well, besides knowing these folks personally I make more than occasional trips to the Courthouse to research various things. I always check court calendars to see what is happening. Well, I see the husband’s name on the calendar time after time and ask a lawyer passerby what is going on. The lawyer says the system is making the husband come to court on a regular basis with no intention of ever trying the case. A case they know they can’t win. It’s just harassment. And Sheriff Alan Norman has a part in the harassment.
It is no wonder the husband and his wife support Clyde Ledbetter’s run for the Office of Sheriff. Clyde Ledbetter’s son, Bryan Ledbetter, a former Highway Patrolman himself got caught up in a domestic violence situation that stemmed from Bryan’s wife Sara, a former Science Teacher at Crest High School allegedly getting involved inappropriately with students, other men and women too.
I became interested in allegations of the Sara Ledbetter cover-up of having inappropriate relations with students at CCS. At that time I had never laid eyes on Sara Ledbetter, Bryan Ledbetter, Clyde Ledbetter and Clyde’s wife Janet Ledbetter in my life, but as I said before, an injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere. I asked questions around the community and everybody seemed to know about Sara Ledbetter and her activities. I was even given the name of one of her alleged young student paramours. I also learned about some alleged miscarriages of justice at the Courthouse and checked it out for myself. Two years ago. I’ve known about all this for some time, but for various reasons the time was not right to write the story.
All the while I was shocked that a Science Teacher at Crest High School could take so many naked porno pictures of herself with her cell phone, get caught such that I am sitting there in the Cleveland County Clerk of Court’s Office looking at the pictures, now a public record, and Sara Ledbetter is still a teacher in North Carolina to this very day. And Sheriff Alan Norman and Judge Ali Paksoy were a part of that injustice several years ago. No wonder Clyde Ledbetter ran for Sheriff of Cleveland County, looking for justice.
And now Sheriff Alan Norman and Major Joel Shores, just several days ago are accusing Clyde Ledbetter and his supporters of being “anti-law enforcement,” attackers and engaging in dirty politics. When the fact is Sheriff Alan Norman and Major Joel Shores are the attackers and those engaging in dirty politics.
Starting with a phony WBTV-3 news story last month saying Clyde Ledbetter treated Sara Ledbetter badly such that she actually needed a restraining order to protect herself.
All the while Sheriff Alan Norman and Major Joel Shores knew the truth of the matter and distorted it for their own purposes.
And for what reason? Sheriff Alan Norman says he will not engage in answering questions and let his record speak for itself. That he will continue to do what is right. Well, Norman does have a record of many successes. The outcome of the Sheriff’s race was never seriously in doubt. Sheriff Norman had what appeared to be unlimited campaign resources and was well connected in the political arena. So, why would Sheriff Alan Norman turn to the dark side when he didn’t have to?
The answer to that question is not in my field of expertise. Getting to the bottom of things is. Sheriff Alan Norman, the human Alan Norman is capable of making mistakes and has made mistakes. He has made mistakes in the Office of Sheriff. Sheriff Alan Norman has indeed been called a liar by Superior Court Judge Nathaniel Poovey who also said the actions of the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office were “repugnant.” A link is provided below for the proof of that.
Sheriff Alan Norman has mostly been a very good Sheriff but he made mistakes in the Ledbetter cases as well as the when his testimony was called a “Falsehood” by Judge Poovey. Sheriff Norman would be well advised to make amends for his role in the injustices done to the Ledbetter family and for his cover-up of such.
One thing that I plan to do is pay more attention to what goes on in the Sheriff’s Office had report what I find on a regular basis. I do not apologize for bringing out the truth in this article and will continue to do so.
For the Gaston Gazette Article regarding Judge Nathaniel Poovey,
Screen shots of Sheriff Alan Norman and Major Joel Shores’ Facebook posts are provided below. Alan and Joel, face the facts, tell the truth and make amends. And, learn your lessons as well. Saying you will do what is right means you will actually Do what is right
Joel Shores shared a post.
November 4 at 12:50 PM ·
November 4 at 8:54 AM
From the start of this election cycle I have ran an issue-oriented campaign for the office of Sheriff. But when the men and women that I work with are attacked I feel compelled to speak out in the defense of them and the Sheriff’s Office. We have been accused of everything from not doing our job to even taking an innocent person’s life. I hoped and prayed from the beginning that this type of negativity would not have happened.
1. To the citizens of Cleveland County, accept my apology on behalf of my opponent and the select few he has surrounded himself with.
2. 2. To the men and women I work with, keep your head up. You are only doing your job and you are doing great. I am proud of each and every one of you.
3. 3. Lastly, to the citizens of Cleveland County, you know my record and I STAND by it. If you haven’t early voted please vote on Tuesday November 6th. Poll hours are from 6:30am-7:30pm.
Thanks in advance for your prayers and support.
Alan Norman shared a post.
November 2 at 1:52 PM ·
Please read the following post from Joel Shores
I have ran a positive campaign focusing on the issues. My opponent and his associates have posted what I consider an anti law enforcement post. This is unfortunate but me and my staff will continue to do what is right for this community and when we are attacked will rise above it.
November 2 at 1:23 PM
We really live in a sad world and our political climate is at its all time worse. It is sad that someone or some organization can print, video, etc. lies and that’s just how it is. On October 24, 2018 a video appeared on Hazel Thrift-Morrow Facebook page showing an elderly couple critisizing the Sheriff’s Office for shooting a mentally ill man. This video sheds negativity on the entire Sheriff’s Office and that is not who we are. The video is obviously staged and the facts are totally inaccurate. Mrs. Morrow is heavily involved with Sheriff Alan Normans opponents campaign.
I would like to share the FACTS to the case with you. I can because I was there.
Remember this statement by Joel Shores- “I was there.” As you read on down, If Shores was actually there, why did he NOT intervene when his deputy was repeatedly being beaten with a metal chair? Also note the address which is just down the road from where I live. And I know the actual witnesses very well.
On June 6, 2016 a call came in that a mentally ill person was out of control at 1300 E. Stagecoach Trail. When the officer arrived he was confronted by the suspect who ran up to him and hit him over the head with a metal chair. The officer tried to retreat but the suspect kept assaulting him with the chair. Luckily the first blow only knocked the officer to the ground and didn’t cause him to be unconscious or we could have been burying another law enforcement officer in this county.
When I got on the scene I was approached by two EMS workers who told me “He didn’t have a choice he came running off the porch beating him over the head with a metal chair”
Myself and a detective went into the house to speak with the family. Obviously they were upset and shaken up. I told the mother of the suspect that I had notified the SBI that it was standard procedure to have an outside agency conduct this type investigation. The mother said “Why are you making the suffering worse? It is simple. I saw it happen. I do not blame the police. My son attacked the police and the police shot him. The police was an older man and he tried to get him to cooperate and abort him but he kept on attacking him. I don’t blame the police. My son was out of his mind and not himself. He had attacked another police this weekend at the crisis center. The mother also stated her son was having alcohol withdrawals and how he had became worse after he left the crisis center than he was when he went there.
We in law enforcement have to make split second decision every day. Having someone hit you over the head with a metal chair and continue to come after you a reasonable person would believe they were at risk of serious bodily injury or even death. The courts have ruled that a “deadly weapon or instrument” is either (1) a weapon that is deadly per se (e.g., a dagger) or (2) any “object, instrument, or weapon” that is used in a way likely to produce death or great bodily injury.
I hate that politics has become so dirty. I hate that people try and shed negativity on law enforcement when we face so much stress and ridicule every day. If you have facts, my all means use them, but please stop assuming and making up stuff as you would like it to be.
Editor’s Note: Other eye witnesses (neighbors) on the scene, people I know and trust, tell a different story than Major Shores’ account noted above