DA gets another invitation to discuss jail population

Published 1:00 am Thursday, April 4, 2013

“I won’t say a single word.”

That was Beaufort County Commissioner Hood Richardson’s way of renewing his request for District Attorney Seth Edwards to appear before the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners to discuss the length of time some inmates are spending in the Beaufort County jail. Edwards has turned down a previous request by the board to discuss the issue. At the board’s March 11 meeting, Richardson said the jail’s overcrowding is a result of lack of jail management by Edwards and the slow rate at which the district attorney’s office tries cases.

In a letter to County Manager Randell Woodruff, Edwards wrote he had “no intention of entering the bully pulpit of Hood Richardson. That didn’t stop Richardson, during the board’s meeting Monday, from again asking that Edwards appear before the board to talk about the jail population.

“I promise if the district attorney shows up, I won’t say a word,” Richardson said. “All I want him to do is explain why these people are in jail for so long. He refuses to do it. If he comes, I won’t say single word. He can come in here and showboat all he wants to.”

Richardson said he disagrees with almost everything Edwards wrote in his letter to Woodruff.

“The DA needs to get his act together and start trying cases,” Richardson said.

Edwards is out of his office until Monday and could not be reached for comment.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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