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Jackson: Ex-officials subject of probe

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Quentin Jackson

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By Peter Williams
The Perquimans Weekly

Friday, March 22, 2019

HERTFORD — Embattled Hertford Town Councilman Quentin Jackson lashed out this week at former town officials, the media and members of the public, claiming the officials are the subject of an outside probe that will result in convictions and jail terms.

Jackson didn’t describe the nature of the investigation or say who is conducting it, but announced that when it concludes he plans to step down from the town board.   

“I will not stop until every one of you is thrown in jail,” Jackson said at Monday’s meeting of Hertford Town Council.

Jackson didn’t specify which town officials he was referring to. He has been critical of how the town has been managed in the past.

Jackson also criticized local media’s coverage of him, specifically naming The Perquimans Weekly. The newspaper has covered Jackson’s numerous legal issues, including his upcoming trial for a charge of felony perjury scheduled to get underway in Perquimans Superior Court on Monday. 

Jackson also expressed criticism of members of the public for being critical of the current town board. He did not mention names.

“It doesn’t define who I am as a man,” Jackson said, referring to criticism of him and fellow councilors. “It’s easy to sit out in the audience, but while I am here, I’m still going to advocate for what’s right.”

Jackson did offer praise for Hertford police Chief Dennis Brown for the job he’s been doing.

“Thank you,” Jackson said to Brown. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

Brown, who was hired last fall, responded to Jackson that he just follows the law.

Jackson appeared to gain support from several fellow councilors with his criticism of how some Hertford citizens have responded to the town council since it changed, following the 2017 election, from having three white members and two black members to having four black members and one white member.

Councilor Frank Norman, an African-American who like Jackson was elected to the council in 2017, agreed that some citizens have been unduly critical of the current board. He said they will have to take responsibility for any past problems an investigation uncovers.

“All of this stuff is going to come to light,” Norman said. “When all of the stuff comes out, you’re going to look worse than I am.”

Councilor Gracie Felton, who was appointed earlier this year to fill the vacancy created by Councilman Archie Aples’ resignation, agreed that the public has been unfair to the current board.

“My feet are getting wet, and there are things that are wrong that you (the public) don’t know about,” Felton said. “When the facts come out, you might want to say ‘I’m sorry.’”

Felton told Jackson that “my heart hurts that you are going to step down.”

Asked later about Jackson and the other councilors’ reference to an investigation, local law enforcement officials either declined to comment or said they weren’t aware of one. 

“I can’t confirm or deny there is an investigation,” Brown said.

“I am not aware of any ongoing investigations involving former Hertford town officials,” District Attorney Andrew Womble said in an email.

Perquimans County Sheriff Shelby White likewise said he was not aware of any investigation involving former Hertford officials.

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