Johnston County Commissioner Chairman Tony Braswell of Pine Level says he has received an apology from the two individuals responsible for burning his political signs. With the apology he has asked Sheriff Steve Bizzell to drop a criminal investigation into the incident.
On March 16th, Braswell asked the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office to investigate the burning of several candidates signs including his campaign signs for NC House. Signs belonging to DeVan Barbour of Benson and Sheriff Steve Bizzell were also reportedly burned in photos obtained by the NC Federation of College Republicans (NCFCR) last month in Johnston County.
“After receiving a sincere apology from the individuals involved in the political sign burning incident, today I am asking the sheriff to discontinue his investigation,” Braswell said. “It is time for all us to put this behind us and move forward. I wish them well as they continue their educational studies and future interest. Because of their enthusiasm, energy, and political convictions, I would hope and encourage them continued involvement in the political arena.”
Sheriff Bizzell first learned of Commissioner Braswell’s statement from WTSB News. Bizzell said, “I appreciate Commissioner Braswell’s willingness to accept an apology letter from these two young men who were burning political signs. As Sheriff, I take a lot of personal pride in using common sense in applying the law. And in this case, this was just the right thing to do.”
Last month, Braswell said he was initially told none of his campaign signs were burning. The following day when photos emerged of the incident Braswell said assurance he received his signs were not involved were untrue. That prompted him to ask for the criminal probe.
Both suspects in the incident were members of the NCFCR. Last month, the group asked both men to resign from their positions with the organization.