Local News

  • Deputies on duty paid for work at Hewett's home

    Tucked behind a black gate and thick woods off Holden Beach Road is the home of Ronald and Julie Hewett.

    Though passersby can’t see the residence from the road, deputies claim they have been there and were forced to work there while it was being built.

    According to the petition to remove Hewett from office, Hewett “allegedly engaged in felonious and continual pattern of embezzling by a public official beginning in 2003 and continuing through 2007,” a violation of N.C. General Statute 14-92, embezzlement of funds by public officers and trustees.

  • Hewett's son assigned sheriff's office equipment

    Today he is a police officer at the Holden Beach Police Department, but sheriff’s deputies claim Justin Hewett has been receiving sheriff’s office equipment for years.

    The 21-year-old son of Ronald Hewett has received equipment and gear from the sheriff’s office including a vehicle, clothing, ammunition and a badge, deputies claim.

  • Acting sheriff says citizens are in good hands

    It’s business as usual at the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office.

    But there’s a new sheriff in town.

    After Ronald Hewett was suspended as sheriff last Thursday, county coroner Greg White assumed all duties as sheriff.

  • Drug unit and SWAT commander resigns amid Hewett's 'erratic behavior'

    Though one day before his resignation Lt. Mickey Smith led the SWAT team to a state victory, former sheriff Ronald Hewett had banned Smith from staff meetings and forbidden him to come into his office.

    Smith, a 15-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, served as the head of the drug enforcement unit and the SWAT team during his tenure at the sheriff’s office.

    He resigned March 21.

  • Detectives captain among deputies alleging illegal behavior

    For 38 years, Gene Caison called him a friend. For the last 14 years, Caison called him his boss.

    But Caison says suspended Brunswick County Sheriff Ronald Hewett is no longer the person he grew up with or belonged at the helm of the sheriff’s office.

    “He’s not the person he was when he got elected,” Caison said last Thursday night, minutes after district attorney Rex Gore announced Hewett’s suspension as sheriff. “I’m sorry the whole situation got to the point that it did.”

  • Sheriff indicted: Has been suspended pending hearing

    For months, a cloud has been looming over Ronald Hewett’s head as a federal grand jury investigation lingers on.

    But Monday morning it was a jury of his peers—the very people who elected Hewett as their sheriff—who handed down indictments.

    Hewett was indicted on three felony charges of embezzlement by a public official and one felony charge of obstruction of justice.

  • Who is the real Ronald Hewett?

    Many Brunswick County residents know Ronald Hewett as a church-going, family man. A hometown boy, Hewett touted his local roots as much as he did his professional accomplishments as Brunswick County sheriff.

    Hewett, well-known throughout the community, ran unopposed for the sheriff’s spot in the last election, after previously beating Republican hopefuls for the job. He is a man who was often seen paying his respects at funerals, shaking hands at ribbon cuttings and reading stories to local kids at school.

  • Hewett has been a central figure in crime reporter's career

    My first day at the Beacon nearly two years ago I tagged along with a coworker and went to the sheriff’s office to retrieve our weekly crime reports.

    The first person I met when I arrived was Ronald Hewett. He was kind and charming, welcoming me to his office and welcoming me to Brunswick County.

    Before I knew it, I was the crime reporter, meeting with sheriff’s deputies weekly for incident reports, covering press conferences on homicides or other major crimes and calling Hewett whenever I needed a quote for a story.

  • Twenty-three affidavits signed and sworn during Hewett's investigation

    Twenty-three current or former sheriff’s office employees signed sworn affidavits during the district attorney’s office investigation into Hewett.

    The following are excerpts of their testimony, which are taken directly from sworn affidavits.

  • Hewett surrenders weapons, county equipment

    District attorney Rex Gore has required Ronald Hewett to surrender all county-owned property, including weapons, to acting sheriff Greg White.

    White, the county coroner, assumed all duties of sheriff March 27—the day of Hewett’s suspension. He will remain in the position until the Democratic Party nominates a sheriff.

    A May 5 hearing is scheduled to determine if Hewett will be permanently removed from office.