Archived Story

Richardson wants jail order dissolved

Published 4:22pm Saturday, February 1, 2014

Beaufort County Commissioner Hood Richardson wants a judge’s order concerning the pursuit of building a new jail in the county dissolved.

Richardson, who contends the existing jail meets state jail guidelines and still has a useful life, will ask the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners to support his motion that Superior Court Judge Wayland Sermons Jr., the resident Superior Court judge in the 2nd Judicial District, to dissolve the order he issued in September in the wake of the jail being evacuated for safety reasons after several problems, including power outages, hit the jail in June of last year. Richardson, according to the board’s tentative agenda for its meeting Monday, will make that motion after the board’s dinner break, usually from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The jail reopened Sept. 13 of last year and began housing inmates again. Along with issuing an order reopening the jail, Sermons also ordered, “That the Board of Commissioners shall continue to plan and design a county jail that meets the minimum standards in the State of North Carolina. That such planning and construction shall proceed in as timely a manner as possible given the time restraints of architectural service, financing, and construction times.”

Sermons further required the Board of Commissioners to submit a written progress report on the new jail before each administrative session of Beaufort County Criminal Superior Court. That order included a list of those dates.

Some commissioners, especially Commissioner Hood Richardson, took exception to Sermons’ order regarding the building of a new jail.

“This is a spurious order from the standpoint of the way it’s presented, and I call upon Judge Sermons to give us finding of fact for statements that he has made in this particular order — because he can’t,” Richardson said at a board meeting last autumn.

Richardson, according to the board’s tentative agenda, wants to discuss the lifting of restrictions on carrying concealed weapons in all county buildings with the exception of the courthouse, schools and jail. He also wants to discuss allowing county employees to carry concealed weapons at work when properly permitted to do so, as allowed in Cherokee County.

The Board of Commissioners meets at 5 p.m. in the Beaufort County Administrative Building, 121 W. Third St., Washington. To review the entire agenda for the meeting, visit At the right side of the page, click on “Agenda” under the heading “Next regular Board of Commissioners meeting.”




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