Former town clerk under state investigation

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By Brian Slattery

A Sandy Creek town councilwoman-elect is under investigation for her stint as town clerk.

Tina Colby received 25 votes, the most among four candidates, to take one of two open seats on the Sandy Creek board Nov. 7. Her sister, Anna Knapp, received 22 votes to claim the second seat.

Voters picked Colby and Knapp over incumbents Stephen Permenter and Mildred Miller.

But an investigation Permenter began by contacting the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office over employee benefit discrepancies continues.

State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Patty McQuillan said Nov. 16 the sheriff’s office asked her agency to investigate further.

Permenter said Colby was town clerk while Knapp served as town treasurer. At the time, Brandon Colby, the town clerk’s husband, served as mayor.

Permenter said Tina Colby began working part-time hours as clerk, but was still accruing full-time benefits in the past year.

“As a board member, I was not OK with it. But when I questioned her, they claimed she was being harassed,” he said. “I requested the information from her time sheets, but I was consistently denied the information.”

In May all three town officials quit, claiming they were being harassed, Permenter said.

Permenter, meanwhile, got access to the records he sought and confirmed the discrepancy.

“Our town policy states benefits are for full-time employees,” he said. “(Tina Colby) was full-time but cut her hours back a year before.”

Permenter said he contacted the sheriff’s office to investigate when he realized the benefits were still being provided to Tina Colby after she quit. He said he continued to be accused of harassing her.

“They got what they wanted. They were voted back in,” Permenter said.

In the Nov. 7 municipal election, Sandy Creek voters also chose current Mayor Pro Tem Nathan Youngs to take an unexpired seat on the council with 36 votes.

Mark Mitchell also won a seat to fill an unexpired term with 28 votes.

Glenn Marshall received 25 votes to become the new mayor of Sandy Creek, defeating former mayor Kelly Jackson, who received 14 write-in votes.

Brian Slattery is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or bslattery@brunswickbeacon.com.