A candidate for the Johnston County Board of Commissioners is facing criminal charges after his arrest in Guilford County. The incident occurred at the Greensboro Coliseum during an event where former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, were appearing.
Republican commissioner candidate David Lee Jackson was arrested at the September 17th event by Greensboro Police. Just 11 days earlier, Jackson had applied for a vacant seat on the Johnston County Board of Commissioners created after Keith Branch announced he was stepping down effective September 30th.
Greensboro Police said Jackson, 53, of Smithfield, was at the coliseum Event Center when the incident occurred. Event staff asked Greensboro Police to remove Jackson from the facility after he allegedly became disruptive and started cursing and shouting and appeared intoxicated.
An officer took Jackson into custody and called for a second officer to assist. While being escorted out of the Event Center by the two policemen, Jackson reportedly began shouting expletives towards the officers, threatened the officers and struck one of the policeman in the side with his elbow.
A spokesperson for Greensboro Police said the two officers had to use “physical control” to bring Jackson under control.
Jackson was taken before a Guilford County magistrate and charged with assault on a government official, communicating threats, and being intoxicated and disruptive. All the charges are misdemeanors. He was taken to the Guilford County Jail and released on a $2,500 bond pending trial.
Jackson, a lifelong Johnston County resident and graduate of Smithfield Selma High and Wake Forest University in 1988 was named the Smithfield Selma Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year in 2013. He is the current President of Neuse Charter School Facilities, Inc and served as Chairman of the Johnston County Visitors Bureau from 2007 to 2009. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation between 1999 and 2001. Jackson is also a member of Centenary United Methodist Church.
When reached by telephone on Wednesday, Jackson said, “I did have a run in with a security guard at a Joe Biden Event in Greensboro. However the charges against me are not true and are strongly contested.”
Jackson told WTSB News he purchased one beer when he walked in and had drank about half the beer. “The officer said I was drunk because he could smell alcohol. I offered to take a breathalyzer but he refused.”
Jackson said he has retained a Greensboro attorney to defend the charges in Guilford County Court.
At the present time Jackson said has no plans to withdraw his name from consideration for the County Commissioners seat. Three other candidates have also applied. The deadline to apply for the position is this Friday, Sept. 29th at 5:00pm.