There have been loud calls for the removal of Columbus County Sheriff Jody Greene since Sept. 28, when WECT reported on audio recordings of Greene making derogatory comments about black employees. And less than a week later, after the local district attorney, Jon David, filed a motion for him to be removed for the comments, Superior Court Judge Douglas B. Sasser agreed to suspend Green until any decision on removal is finalized.

In the 2019 recordings made by Captain Jason Soles, who is now running against Greene for Columbus County sheriff, Greene can be heard telling Soles, “I’m sick of it. I’m sick of these black bastards” and directing Soles to fire every black employee there to “clean them out” of the office.

Soles served as interim sheriff after Greene narrowly won by 34 votes in 2018 while the election was being litigated. Greene, a Republican, felt that black employees had been helping his Democrat opponent.

“This one particular phone call that [I] received, he made the comment that he hated Democrats. And then he said, ‘I take that back. I hate a black f***ing Democrat,'” Soles told WECT. “And, and I knew right then, I was like, ‘Wow, this is coming from the sheriff.’ And, I had to start recording those conversations… It broke my heart. Because that’s not what I believe in.”

The N.C. Sheriffs Association denounced Greene’s comments, saying, “The North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association (the Association), representing all 100 sheriffs in our state, is aware of racially-charged comments allegedly made by Columbus County Sheriff Jody Greene, that shock the conscience. The comments made on the recording are inflammatory, racially derogatory, insulting, and offensive.”

Greene resigned from the NCSA last week.