Former Gates County sheriff, deputies make first court appearance


GATES COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) — Former Gates County Sheriff Randy Hathaway, along with three of his deputies, made their first court appearances Tuesday.

Hathaway, Tobe Ruffin, Levar Newsome and Gylnda Parker said very little on their way in and out of court.

“I don’t have anything to say,” Ruffin said. “Can you all just please move?”

Hathaway and the three former deputies are accused of collecting money from the sheriff’s department and the Gates County Board of Education at the same time.

Prosecutors say they were double dipping, meaning collecting a pay check from the schools while they were on the clock for the sheriff’s office.

“Because of their status as law enforcement officers and because of the integrity that the office holds it is very important that these be brought forward and be adjudicated,” said District Attorney Andrew Womble.

Hathaway was removed from office in January.  He is facing three charges and is accused of threatening a potential witness to prevent him from speaking to investigators.  He’s also accused of failing to supervise and maintain protection of evidence.  Prosecutors say the sheriff has both civil and criminal cases ongoing.

“The sheriff has a right to have his case of removal heard by the court,” Womble added. “That’s civil removal hearing versus any criminal charges that may be pending.”

Hathaway is scheduled to have that hearing July 9.  The hearing could by a moot point, because he did not win his party’s nomination in last week’s primaries.  He won’t be on the November ballot for sheriff.

A fourth deputy, Brandon Hawks, was also scheduled to be in court, but he is currently being held on federal charges.

Hathaway, Ruffin, Newsome and Parker will have trials in September. 

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