NEW HANOVER – Late this afternoon, Sheriff Ed McMahon announced he will revert $172,883.15 to the New Hanover County School Board. Over the past several months the StarNews has raised concerns regarding a particular gambling investigation that occurred in 2007. Documents pertaining to the investigation to include search warrants, property information and other details were provided to the Star News upon request.
Several weeks ago, the Sheriff’s Office received a second request for information – requesting court orders for all cases that involved forfeited property and/or monies. Once this information was gathered, Sheriff McMahon personally reviewed the cases and had some concerns as to the disposition of the forfeited funds. “I’m confident that we followed the letter of the law at the time, but I was concerned about the spirit of the law,” McMahon said Tuesday.
The complicated and recently questioned issue is due to conflicting wording between the North Carolina Constitution and a North Carolina General Statue. Sheriff McMahon quickly made his decision citing it was in the best interest of the children, “My opinion is that no, we don’t have to pay it according to the law, but I want to because it’s in the best interest of the kids,” McMahon said.
The reverted funds will come from the Sheriff’s current fiscal budget, but will not impact any services currently being provided.