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Former Columbus Co. Sheriff Seeks Reinstallment

Columbus County Sheriff's Office Facebook

The former sheriff of Columbus County in eastern North Carolina has filed a lawsuit that seeks to put him back in office. He says the current sheriff illegally took office since their disputed race hasn’t been certified by the state elections board.

The state elections board has several petitions pending that challenge Republican Jody Greene's 34-vote victory in his race to unseat Democrat Lewis Hatcher.

The petitions include accusations that absentee ballots were mishandled by McRae Dowless. He is also the focus of an election fraud probe in the 9th District Congressional Race.

According to state law and the North Carolina constitution, Greene should not have taken office with such petitions pending — and since elections officials have not certified the results.

But Greene was sworn in as the new sheriff last month.