One of the most bizarre, stupid and likely sinister incidents in Cleveland County history has happened since Sheriff Alan Norman and the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Department seized around $3 million in cold hard cash at an ICE related road-side traffic stop on December 7, 2019. To my knowledge, so far, no person has been charged with a crime involving the possession of so much cash. But that is a story for another day.
The allure of an easy $3 Million windfall was too great of a temptation for the Cleveland County School Board. Or, at least CCS Superintendent Dr. Stephen Fisher. According to court records, Fisher goes to the School Board’s high dollar lawyers in Raleigh and to have them draw up a lawsuit against Sheriff Alan Norman, individually as well as the Sheriff, to prevent the Sheriff from turning over the seized cash to the Federal Government, even though the ICE program is a Federally funded operation.
So, the high dollar Raleigh lawyers draft up a lawsuit against Sheriff Norman to prevent the Sheriff from turning the money over to the proper authorities. According to the School Board’s lawsuit against the Sheriff, that seized cash belongs to them and they want a Cleveland County Judge to make sure they get what the School Board says is theirs.
Only thing though, all the things that the School Board was saying in their lawsuit was made up by Superintendent Fisher, who never asked the School board for permission to file a lawsuit in their name. Nor did Fisher inform the School Board that the lawsuit had been drafted up and filed at the Courthouse. Fisher illegally signed the lawsuit in the name of the School Board without actually notifying ALL the school board members. All this happened December 13, 2019. The lawsuit was stamped 9:42AM on that day. The filing also included a request for a Restraining Order prohibiting Sheriff Alan Norman from transferring the $3 Million to the proper authority or to anywhere else. This request was also clocked in at the Cleveland County courthouse at 9:42AM on December 13, 2019.
INCREDIBLY, less than 4 hours later, at 1:16 PM, the School Board’s fancy-dandy, high dollar lawyer was back at the Cleveland County Courthouse filing to withdraw the school boards illegal and ill-conceived lawsuit.
But as I say many times: Don’t believe me. Read the School Boards phony lawsuit and time stamps at the end of this article.
Now, the fun begins in figuring out what just happened and why.
First of all, this lawsuit and especially the dismissal was kept quiet. I only discovered this lawsuit because of a statement School Board member Danny Blanton made at the December 16th, 2019 school board meeting. In that meeting the School Board Chairman and Vice Chairman offices are re-elected. Phillip “Bully” Glover nominated Chairman Shearra Miller to serve another term as Chairman. At this point Danny Blanton asked Miller if she would promise to inform ALL the school board members of any crimes, lawsuits, etc. that CCS had become involved with. Miller refused to answer. Then Superintendent Fisher said Danny Blanton was out of order for asking such a question at that time. Blanton voted NO for the re-appointment of Shearra Miller as the school board chairman.
The very same thing happened when Richard Hooker was nominated for another term as Vice-Chairman. Blanton asked for the same assurance, Hooker refused to answer, Fisher said Blanton was out of order and Blanton voted NO for the re-appointment of Richard Hooker as the school board vice-chairman.
As I sat there watching all of this, I smelled a rat. I decided right then and there to make a trip later in the week down to the Courthouse. I found this “jackpot” in my trip to the courthouse, which prompted this article.
I also found out some other stuff about this lawsuit at the courthouse.
When I asked the clerk of court to see any recent court documents involving CCS, I received a big smile and a statement that “it’s already dismissed.” I said I wanted to see “it” anyway and make a copy.
While I was sitting in the Clerk’s area just starting to look over the lawsuit, an attorney spied me looking at the papers and asked what I was up to. I didn’t say a word. I just showed him the first page, a title page. Again, I received a big smile. When I asked what was so funny, the attorney would only say, “read the lawsuit.” Which I did.
I smiled too. Knowing that there was a bigger story than just this frivolous lawsuit that hardly saw the light of day.
So, papers in hand, I strolled on down to the Courtroom areas figuring I would find someone else with a big smile who might be willing to share more information with me. It didn’t take long.
After several discussions of what turned out to be a number of pieces of this strange puzzle; this is what I came up with.
Shelby Police Chief Jeff Ledford is mad at Sheriff Alan Norman for investigating the sex crimes at CCS’s Turning Point Academy that Ledford was covering up for his buddy Stephen Fisher. A former Turning Point teacher is now charged with several felony charges and Fisher’s cover-up is exposed. By filing this lawsuit against Sheriff Norman, even though it was soon dismissed, a black mark goes against Sheriff Norman in any future re-election bid.
School Board member and former Chairman, Phillip “Bully” Glover, has long been seeking the opportunity of becoming the Sheriff of Cleveland County. A smear on Sheriff Norman would perhaps help Glover in 2022-when Glover’s term on the school board is over and he is not expected to be re-elected. Bully might figure a swipe at Norman now might help him if he runs against Norman for Sheriff in 2022. Glover is also another big fan and cover-up co-conspirator with CCS Superintendent Stephen Fisher.
Also, I was told that the Shelby Star would be soon covering this lawsuit news. So, I might as well “scoop” the Star. It happens all the time. I just wonder whose “spin” the Star will put on their article. Somebody let me know about that. I don’t subscribe to the Star. I investigate for myself and publish what I find out. Not what “somebody” else wants me to write.
Anyways, stay tuned. I figure there will be more to this episode of stupidity, cover-up and intrigue dreamed up by Supt Fisher and the in-crowd on the School Board. And, that $3 Million will be going somewhere.
The School Board Lawsuit file is shown Below.School Board vs Sheriff Alan Norman