Richardson wants jail order dissolved

Published 4:22 pm 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.”




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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