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Sloan files grievance with state Democratic Party

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

Willie Sloan, who had the second-highest number of votes for the sheriff’s nomination last Saturday, has filed a grievance with the state Democratic Party.

John Ingram was named the nominee after defeating Sloan by 13.5 votes.

Sloan filed a grievance with the state Democratic Party Friday, saying the Brunswick County Democratic Party Executive Committee violated state party rules.

N.C. Democratic Party Chairman Jerry Meek said Sloan alleges four of the people who voted in Saturday’s election also serve as elections officials at polling locations.

But Meek said he doesn’t see a violation of party rules in Sloan’s grievance.

“There is no party rule that says a precinct officer cannot also serve as an election official,” Meek said. “What is being alleged is really not a violation of party rules, from my perspective, but rather a violation of board of elections rules.”

Sloan serves as the chairman of the Brunswick County Board of Elections.

Meek said the state party attempts to mediate a dispute when a grievance is filed.

If mediation does not alleviate the matter, then the party’s 17-member Counsel of Review, the judicial arm of the state party, convenes to hear the complaint, he said.

“The purpose of the Counsel of Review is to see if a party rule has been violated,” Meek said.

Sloan would have to prove two things to the Counsel of Review: that a violation of party rules occurred and that the violation affected the outcome.

If Sloan fails to prove both claims, the counsel takes no action.

If Sloan can prove both claims, the counsel has the authority to order any action to remedy the matter, Meek said.

At last Saturday’s election, the 100 or so members of the Brunswick County Democratic Party Executive Committee cast their votes in four different ballots before Ingram secured the necessary 89 votes to be named the party’s nominee for sheriff.

Ingram, who serves as the chief deputy at the sheriff’s office, beat out Sloan in the final ballot 94.5 votes to 81 votes.

After each of the four rounds of voting, four people counted the ballots, including judges Marion Warren and Napoleon Barefoot. The votes were then signed, sealed and duct taped.

A Wilmington-based CPA, who was on hand for the voting, has the sealed ballots in a safe in his office, Robert Epstein, counsel to the executive committee said Friday.

Commissioners are expected to vote on Ingram’s appointment at their meeting Monday.

Check back for updates and be sure to read next week’s issue of the Beacon for more on this developing story.