Gates sheriff, deputies facing charges after SBI probe
By William F. West
Monday, January 22, 2018
GATESVILLE – Gates County's top lawman and four of his deputies are facing criminal charges after a probe by the State Bureau of Investigation.
An agent with the SBI served an arrest warrant to Gates County Sheriff Randy Hathaway, 47, following his indictment Monday by a grand jury on charges of obtaining property by false pretense, failure to discharge duties and one count of obstruction of justice, according to N.C. Public Safety spokeswoman Patty McQuillan.
District Attorney Andrew Womble petitioned a superior court judge to remove Hathaway based on the SBI’s investigation. The judge removed Hathaway from office and appointed Gates County Sheriff Deputy Robert Jordan as the interim sheriff, McQuillan said.
Three Gates County sheriffs' deputies were also charged with obtaining property by false pretense, and their arrest warrants were served in court. As interim sheriff, Jordan suspended the three deputies, Captain Glenda Parker, 54; Deputy Levar Newsome, 38; and Deputy Tobe Ruffin, 28.
A Gates communications official, reached on Monday evening, said Hathaway was not available. She said she would relay a request to him to return a call to a reporter for comment. No return call was received from Hathaway by press time Monday.
The charges come more than a month after another deputy, Sgt. Brandon Hawks, 33, was arrested for allegedly committing embezzlement and larceny of a firearm, on six counts of embezzlement of property by public officer and one count of obstruction of justice. His father, Scott Hawks, 54, was also arrested Monday on two counts of possession of stolen firearm, McQuillan stated in a press release. Hawks was dismissed from the Gates County Sheriff’s Department after being arrested.
The arrest of Hawks reportedly came after Womble requested an SBI probe in July into allegations of corruption at the Gates Sheriff's Office.
According to the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald newspaper, Hathaway joined the Gates Sheriff's Office in July 1999 as a deputy and worked his way up to chief deputy. He was sworn in as interim sheriff in September 2016 following Sheriff Ed Webb's announcement of his intention to retire.
Webb had been Gates' top lawman for 18 years before foregoing a 2018 re-election campaign to accept a position with the Vidant Police Department at the medical center in Greenville.
Hathaway told the News-Herald when he was sworn in as interim sheriff that he intended to seek the position in his own right in the 2018 election.
According to the newspaper, Hathway, a Gates County native and a graduate of Gates County High School, went on to receive training as an automobile mechanic from Roanoke-Chowan Community College.
The newspaper said Hathaway was employed as a mechanic in Ahoskie when he decided to join the Gates Sheriff's Office.