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CANDIDATES CLASH
'Van incident' sparks debate on who is fit to serve




The differences in how Wilson County Sheriff Calvin Woodard and sheriff’s candidate Joey Gardner would handle drug investigations and crime in the county have both candidates speaking out.

Gardner said there are specifics he will address in the near future that will be of concern to the public.

Woodard countered that Wilson County deputies are putting their lives on the line every day to stop drug activity and crime is down in Wilson County.

The controversy began with what many in the community are now calling "Vangate,” even taking to local radio to debate the series of events.

Woodard abused his power as sheriff when he asked that the van Gardner was riding in be pulled over when he was only observing polling sites, Gardner said.

Gardner said stopping the van was "blatant harassment, intimidation and a violation of First and Fourth Amendment rights of the U.S. Constitution.”

Gardner said he had information that deputies were told they had to work the polls for Woodard and he saw 21 deputies at 24 sites.

Woodard said he wasn’t monitoring the polls but working the election sites and greeting people when he got calls from some who were nervous about the dark blue van driving by slowly, pulling over to park, possibly taking pictures, and then driving by slowly again.

Woodard said his job is to look into suspicious behavior, and those in the van acted suspiciously, particularly around schools. He said they identified the drivers and saw there was no danger and the driver and passengers were allowed to continue with their day.

This isn’t the first suspicious vehicle call the sheriff’s office has received, Woodard said. When they receive such a call they do just as they did on Election Day. They check it out.

Woodard said he never asked any deputy to work for him at the polls, neither was there any word spread around the office asking any staff member to work the polls. He said to require anyone from the sheriff’s office to work at the polls would be a violation of the Hatch Act, which is a federal offense. But some chose to volunteer and use their own time.

Riding in the van were private detectives Ronnie Batts and John Farmer, former major in the sheriff’s office under Wayne Gay and former sheriff’s candidate, according to a report generated from the incident. Also riding in the van was former city councilman Bob Thaxton, according to documents.

Thaxton said he would have granted an interview to The Wilson Times about the situation, but his attorney advised him not do talk about it.

CRIME IN WILSON

Wilson is not as secure as residents think, Gardner said.

"His lack of leadership has resulted in a false sense of security for the residents of Wilson County,” Gardner said. "Last week Mr. Woodard gave an interview stating that under his leadership there has been a decrease in the amount of drugs in the county.”

Gardner said there has not been a single substantial drug arrest in the past three and a half years by the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office.

"Just look at what the Wilson Police Department has been able to do accomplish by partnering with other local, state and federal agencies,” Gardner said. "Where is the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office in all these multi-agency arrests?”

But Woodard said Gardner is out of touch and doesn’t have the details of what he is complaining about.

Woodard said in the recent drug bust where there were multi-agency arrests, there was a good reason for Wilson Police to be involved.

"There were two people on that list who happened to have Wilson addresses – don’t know if they actually lived there,” Woodard said. "Agencies from outside of the region always ask local police to be involved to serve warrants and to perform certain duties they can’t do.”

Woodard said the men and women at the sheriff’s office are professional, well trained and their performance shows that.

"I don’t know what his training is,” Woodard said of Gardner. "I’m not familiar with Joey Gardner other than he used to work here years ago.”

Woodard said he thought Gardner would run a campaign that would be about issues and not false accusations about violating constitutional rights.

"I just thought he would have better character than he has had as far as he is running his campaign,” Woodard said.

Woodard notes the study done by the North Carolina Department of Justice shows the crime rate is down in Wilson County.

Debate

Gardner said there needs to be drug busts where there are federal charges, major asset forfeiture and cooperation with other agencies. He said Wilson Sheriff’s Office isn’t involved on that level.

"There is none,” Gardner said. "There is just none. Busts that leads to the flow – that’s the key to stopping the drug traffic in Wilson County, is cooperating with other agencies and going after the source of the drugs coming into Wilson County.”

Gardner said when he says substantial, he means busts that will lead to other arrests.

"You’re not seeing that,” Gardner said. "Not necessarily a set amount of money or drugs ... You’ve got to go after the people who are supplying the narcotics here. That is accomplished through interagency cooperation, getting the intelligence, getting the information on who is bringing it in here.”

But Woodard said there are federal and state agencies that locate the guys who bring drugs into the state. "We work closely with the U.S. Marshal’s Service that go after sex offenders. We work with immigration and Customs Enforcement, We work cases with DEA and their task force officers throughout North Carolina. We give intelligence information to agencies,” Woodard said. "How can he say what we do when he doesn’t even work here?”

Gardner said Wilson County is set for cooperation.

"We have got a fine police department, a centrally located county government, we need to be working together,” Gardner said.

Gardner said the same people who are selling drugs in the city are selling drugs in the county.

Woodard dismissed the idea that he had made no significant drug arrest,

"Every drug arrest is a substantial drug arrest,” Woodard said. "Every drug arrest is a major drug arrest. When you get these drug dealers out of your community, and make it so they move out of the county, it is significant – it is major.”

Gardner said as a state employee working for the DMV he didn’t focus on drugs.

"I’m not an expert in drugs, but I do believe in cooperation – I know what needs to occur,” Gardner said. "And I believe in cooperating with the other agencies. That’s the key to it. Getting good people in place and working with other agencies we’re going to be successful.”

Woodard said the sheriff’s office is very involved in the community and they stop drugs.

"For him to say that my men and women are not doing their job and to say my men and women are not making substantial drug arrests with all they are doing to shut down these houses next door to good citizens, then he is saying what they are doing is in vain,” Woodard said. "That is not true. What kind of sheriff material is that?”

IN CONCLUSION

Woodard said he questions Gardner’s training as a law enforcement officer as Gardner questions his leadership.

"I feel strongly that Mr. Gardner lacks the understanding of law enforcement and the management of a law enforcement agency,” Woodard said. "He’s out of touch with Wilson County. He’s not saying anything about why he wants to be sheriff other than he dreamed of being sheriff.”

Gardner is concerned about Woodard’s leadership, he said.

"My primary concern is his total lack of leadership and competency in running a sheriff’s department,” Gardner said. "I’m going to be a sheriff that displays the type of leadership necessary to protect the citizens of the county and one that will listen, cooperate and do everything within my ability to assist all of the citizens within the law and uphold the Constitution.”

The Democratic Woodard and Republican Gardner meet in the November election.

janet@wilsontimes.com | 265-7847

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Wilson GOP said...

Wonder if the Vangate incident was sanctioned by the Wilson County Republican Party? Joey is on the executive committee and the rest of the occupants in the van were republicans. Man, they sure look dumb!

Friday, May 23, 2014 at 5:48 PM
@ Fact said...

thank you for that worthless bit of information. Calvin blew Wayne Gay out, he blew John Farmer out, he really blew Harris out and he will blow the license plate man away also in November. remember Calvin always has to win twice in each election.

Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 7:19 PM
Fact said...

Calvin Woodard plays the role of victim so well, he carries his own body outline chalk around wherever he goes!

Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 10:53 AM
@@gardner is a laughing stock said...

How possibly did Gardner secretly videoing people voting at the polls while hiding in the back of a van have anything to do with one person showing up at 0730 pm to vote?
Harris was a loser before it was official that he was a loser. Now BOTH Harris and Gardner are making themselves to look even more foolish. But they were in it together from the start.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 4:51 PM
@gardner is the laughingstock said...

You,sir, are the real laughingstock. Woodard clearly stole this election. NO WAY Did he get 85% support.get real. Gardner knew something was amiss and was proved right by today's front page story. How many elections have Calvin and the corrupt democrat machine stolen the last four years?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 1:14 PM
@faulty machines? said...

Seen the front page lately? Machines were rigged for your boy. But let me guess, he still would have won. Right!?!?!?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 9:14 AM Gardner is the laughingstock said...

Gardner is the laughingstock of the county. If this is the type of behavior that he would exhibit as Sheriff, heaven help us. It shows a lack of judgement to be driving around in a van with darkened windows taking pictures. Had I seen it, I would have called 911. There are kidnappings, murders and thefts that occur and he was setting himself to get arrested or at least investigated. He should be fine for wasting the time of the county 911, the Sheriffs department and anyone else who had to take time from their normal schedule to find out who was that stupid to go around in a van. This is typical sociopathic behavior. Do something wrong and then try to blame the other person. Stick to the issues, JG, you have no case. You are the laughingstock of the county, withdraw and forget you ever filed to run. Your true self has come out and it is not nice. Calvin Woodard is doing a great job and you are not even close to his caliber of leadership. I hope all your supporters realize they may as well through their money in the street when they give you a donation, you are going to lose big. Sorry you don't get it but Calvin Woodard is the best person for the job and you lose hands down.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 9:00 AM @ Faulty Machines said...

I don't recall seeing comments from Harris or Gardner about faulty machines. Some voters complained. Why would Gardner complain, his name was not on the primary ballot. He will be on the November ballot. Sounds like you may be the one telling lies.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 8:18 AM @to woodard said...

Thank you one of the members of 4 Guys and a Blue Van Investigations for your insight. I'm glad you got a chance to tell your side of the story of why you were sneaking around the polls in a used dealer van instead of your own vehicle.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 7:21 AM Titanius said...

When two titans clash there is bound to be magic the recipe. The moon is my sister and the sun is my uncle, who am I, or who are we or they or I so say the biscuit is cooked.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at 9:51 PM @ missing the point. said...

are you a total lunatic? arresting dealers and suppliers stops the flow of drugs. and you think the license plate man will magically make all drugs coming intro the city and county disappear. is he going to put all the deputies at the county lines of all roads and stop and search every car or vehicle or train that comes thru Wilson County. he could even stop a phony id ring that was stealing drivers license paraphernalia with the state seal on it.another LE agency had to solve that for him. yea right this imbecile im sure will solve all the drug problems in wilson County. buy a bunch of strange vans and ride around stalking everyone.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 6:32 PM @You are missing the point said...

You're exactly right. Wilson County is the only county in NC and the US that does not stop the flow of drugs. Why can all the other places stop the drug flow and not Wilson County? The city stops all the drug flow into the city limits. We need a sheriff like Joey Gardner who will stop all the drugs.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 9:45 AM @ I dont think said...

you are absolutely right , you dont think. dont know about wanda but Calvin has made or participated in hundreds of drug arrests. as for setting up road blocks or interstate interdiction unit, the Highway patrol, SBI, FBI DEA and other assorted state and federal agents have that area of primary responsibility.and I agree with Not missing the point at all. high profile arrest and showing a proactive sheriff hitting the streets and neighborhoods hard to keep street level dealers out of neighborhoods and from distributing to out kids is a number one priority. every local bust is another dealer or amount of drugs off the streets of the county. the sheriff cant control the courts but with enough busts with the three strikes and you are out and mandatory minimum sentencing that liberal want to do away with many career drug dealers and distributors will be sent away for a long time when it finally catches up with them.

Monday, May 19, 2014 at 6:51 PM @ hello said...

I assure you if they were not off, using vacation or comp time the VANGATE crowd would know and would have already made it public. secondly they were not all deputies, they were staff, detention officers, bailiffs etc, etc. and not all staff work every day 24 hours a day anyway. the ones on night shift may have taken some time to come in on their own to support( and not Backstab) their boss.the WT doesnt need to verify that but they easily can , if they want to. they know it is just a BS smokescreen thrown up by the opponents. that sounds like something those bumbling idiots would do if they thought they could get away with it.

Monday, May 19, 2014 at 6:42 PM hello......... said...

will the WDT please look into whether or not these deputies were using time off on election day....the citizens want to know. and if they were using time off how can we afford to allow 21 deputies off on the same day!

Monday, May 19, 2014 at 1:59 PM Not missing the point at all said...

Federal agencies have been working for years. They have made hundreds of arrest throughout the state and throughout the nation. It hasn't stopped the drug flow. They are replaced just as quick as the local dealer. I don't care who is sheriff, but whoever it is should focus on our drug dealers and keep busting them. That gets them out of our backyard. Somebody that promises they have the solution to stop drugs all together is for sure telling a lie. You say Wilson had a task force agent working with the Sheriff's Department but drugs were still being sold next door, so that agent didn't mean a hill of beans to me. They no longer have an agent, the SWAT team goes into the house next door, they get him with some drugs, and now the drug dealer has moved out. Looks like the current Sheriff's Department did a better job than your federal agent did. I may have to worry about someone else taking his place in the future, but that will always happen. But for right now, I don't have to worry about him. If drugs need to be handled on the federal level then that should be handled by the federal govermnent so it doesn't take people of our streets.

Monday, May 19, 2014 at 1:05 PM @ legal eagle said...

he felt pretty sure he knew it was Wayne Gay/Gardner operatives in the front but wasnt sure. with all the terrorism and child abductions in the world today he was more than prudent to have the suspicious acting vehicle stopped and checked out for public safety. rightly so. good job sheriff woodard.

Monday, May 19, 2014 at 9:47 AM You are missing the point. said...

Calvin can arrest your local dealer 12 times over or more, he's still going to be right back out selling drugs. There is zero cooperation with federal agencies in relation to the drug problem. If you stop the supply routs into Wilson then you will hurt the dealers. Look at the bigger picture instead of the smoke and mirrors of all these small time dealers getting hauled in on some weak charges and being let out before the officer gets done with paper work.

Monday, May 19, 2014 at 3:05 AM Faulty Machines? said...

I keep seeing where Harris and Gardner supporters are saying that the machines were rigged or faulty. If that is the case, why didn't the voter call out the people in charge of that machine. It ask you if all your selections are correct before you hit the final cast your vote button. If you didn't correct this with the board of elections as soon as you noticed it then why make up the lie. Wilson Daily Times can find out the answer to this one. Was there a faulty machine at all the polls? Is the board of elections crooked? or is Gardner and Harris fans telling more and more lies? Please let us know WDT, we want to see just how far these winers will go.

Monday, May 19, 2014 at 10:23 PM legal eagle said...

the whole traffic stop thing has me wondering..what is needed for someone (leo) to stop a car....wikipedia says it's called "reasonable suspicion" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traffic_stop)
if CW already knew who was in the van, is it "reasonable" to stop them?


Monday, May 19, 2014 at 9:42 PM I don't said...

think Calvin nor Wanda ever made a drug arrest.

Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 5:02 PM Doing Just Fine said...

Is anybody else sick and tired of dirty politics? If all you can do is sling mud then don't even expect the respect of the Wilson County voters. Mr. Woodard has been Sheriff now for 3 1/2 years which is more experience than Mr. Gay had when he became sheriff. Mr. Gay only had a few years of law enforcement experience when we elected him into office and he was an excellent sheriff for many years until the big time politics got to his head. Now all of the Joey Gardner supporters want to throw mud at our current sheriff. He has plenty of experience and 3 1/2 years more experience as being sheriff than Mr. Gardner. Mr. Gardner, you were in charge of license plates. What experience do you have in handling murders, drug investigations, robberies, or any other criminal activity? You say that small drug bust are a waste of time but most of us disagree with you. I would rather see the drug dealer next door go to jail so he's away from my grandkids than I would you spend your time trying to catch Pablo Escobar. Just like the small time drug dealers, the big ones are replaced instantly too. So, if 10 swat team members bust in someone's door in Wilson County and get them with only a few bags of weed for sale, then congradulations to the swat team. You arrested a thug and nobody got hurt. If 3 deputies choose to do a traffic check point on Grimsley Store Rd. and catch a drunk driver, keeping them from hitting one of our citizens, then congradulations to those deputies. I would rather them be on the roads stopping the criminals that are trying to live in our county rather than on an interstate tryin to stop those that are just passing through. No one will ever be able to stop all the crime in this world but they sure can make it hard for them to do it over and over in the same place. I commend Mr. Woodard for focusing on those areas and making it to where these guys have to move off the street corners of our county and hide back in the shadows. And you Mr. Gardner, have already proven, to all of us, that you know what its like to hide in the shadows. I think Mr. Woodard is doing just fine.

Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 11:20 AM Bit Chiz said...

Wilson should be proud of Sheriff Woodard. He is a leader of integrity and bravery despite the undeserved hostility he is shown by some in this city and county. The tone and tactics of his detractors are shameful to this community. The more they continue, the more proud I am of Sheriff Calvin Woodard.

Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 9:06 AM To;KISS said...

JG didnt hurt himself he just help me to for vote for him.Its so sad that everytime someone run its got to be one of Wayne boys.The way I see it Calvin was Wayne boys too because he work under his leadership too. So stop being Stupid! Joey need to watch people at the board of election because something wasnt right there, you can say they are Calvin supporters and I know that. Harris doesnt look foolish.Voters know what happen with the machine. But it will come out.JUST WAIT!!!!!

Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 8:59 AM Wilsonian said...

Roderick Dail said it best in his Letter to the Editor.

Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 12:53 PM Pushing for Action said...

Keep voting for Sheriff Calvin Woodard....Help him "Keep Wilson Clean"...the way the city deserves to be!!!!!! Good job Sheriff Woodard...Excellent leadership.....

Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 10:19 AM Drugs said...

If Woodard is serious about drugs why doesn't he allow deputies to work I 95 to get major busts? We are tired of seeing a SWAT team of 10 guys getting paid overtime with our tax dollars to kick in a door for a little weed! You are a joke woodard!

Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 10:15 AM Christie said...

This is the best yet! So the opposing candidate is riding around suspiciously in a van full of losers, literally, around schools?!? Calvin, you have more restraint than me! And btw, actions like Gardner displayed is suspicious and merits a stop.

Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 3:09 AM Yeah said...

whatever!!! your leader with courage is more of a cowardly leader. you'll see what i'm talking bout here shortly. just wait to see what you didn't hear.

Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 10:08 PM to @at facts said...

doesn't take much for you does it bud? Apparently, you don't have a clue what is going on around you. If you think those 4 were sneaky, you haven't heard too much about Woodard. Now HE is ONE sneaky individual. The difference is that he tries to cover his up with religion. HE, my friend, will have to answer for that one. And YOU are oblivious!

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 8:20 PM Noah said...

I for one have never seen someone try to start so much drama over a 911 tape. The Sheriff had a right to call 911 and did so! What was so wrong with that? I know you don't read this trash Sheriff Woodard, but you have my vote! Also, I plan to sigh up to work the polls next time around! I for one will call 911 in a minute if I see any suspicious activity! Afterwards I plan to attend your victory celebration! SHERIFF Woodard is more than capable of running this town. He doesn't play games! He spends his time making a difference!

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 7:12 PM 911 said...

I am glad the Sheriff called 911 so now we can all see what a joker JG is. I don't mean it to be ugly or rude. I have lost all respect for anyone who has tried negatively to bring Sheriff Woodard down. I have heard lies after lies being told that I know aren't true. Glad we have a leader with courage! I respect Sheriff Woodard and will continue to do so. Those of you who get a kick out of spreading lies on people need to wake up and examine your own lives! Let he who is without sin cast the first stone!

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 7:06 PM To facts said...

Nah, we will all still know that Joey is is a sneaky coniving individual. Playing from the same play books as Gay, Farmer and Harris. Still does not change the fact that he was riding around with Johhny Farmer and Ronnie Batts. Dumb move Joey. People have told you to stay away from them. It's too late now!!!

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 4:43 PM Facts said...

Everyone needs to look on garners website in a couple of days and listen to the unedited 911 tape which also has a domestic cw reported but did not stop to help on it. I think everyone will have a different opinion afterwards.

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 3:22 PM Biggest Concern said...

My biggest concern with the sheriffs department is that all of the experienced deputies seem to be leaving. They are replaced by young people with no law enforcement background. In times past, deputies worked their way up from the jail to the road. Now due to all of the turnover, they are putting people straight on the road who have no clue what they are doing. Is this who you want responding if something happens at your house? Not me! Give me a person who has been there for several years. Oh wait, thats right! They're all gone! And I doubt it has anything to do with the pay. That has been the same since they started. Wake up people. They are trying to get away from something and they obviously don't like how the office is being run. Many of these deputies were once Woodard supporters but apparently not anymore.

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 3:18 PM @offduty said...

Police are technically on duty 24/7/365 but being a former deputy I am sure you know that.
PLEASE give it up!
There is nothing you can say or do that will help Gardner win this election.
Work with the poor, volunteer at a school, do something useful with your time.
The fact that a few people are putting this much effort and non-thought into this whole situation is pathetic.

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 3:12 PM republican male said...

I was really hoping that we could see a candidate that had a backbone for what he believed in. I was really hoping that Mr. Gardner was not in Mr Gays pocket but he seems to be. I'm not at all happy with Mr. Woodard. Our department is down, the turn over is overwhelming, the force is young, with little experience. All of our good deputies have moved on due to the lack of leadership and favoritism. Leadership that brings you together not pushes you way. Leadership by support, not the constant reminder of who is the SHERIFF. But I voted for him, probably will again. Just so all those young men and women can keep there jobs that they all choose. These young people want to serve us. They work crazy hours and part time gigs just to make ends meet.If we change Mr GAY/Gardner Dem/Rep/Ind...will clean house again. Wilson County will suffer.

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 2:39 PM wow said...

i just took the time to listen to the video. are u kidding me!! the whole 911 call was a waste of time and money!nice political move though

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 2:32 PM Open Minded........ said...

Joey Gardner, is hurting his efforts to become sheriff. It's interesting how he's receiving second hand information and attempts to use it to run his campaign. There is a puppet master behind this whole thing, who thinks his/her plan is going to work.However, this negativity makes Joey Gardner seem desperate.

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 1:48 PM Off duty? said...

The sheriff says that the deputies that were working the polls were off duty and not in their law enforcement job role and there by their own choice. If that's the case then why in the 911 recording in the video section of this newspaper website at minute 4:21 do we hear mister Levi Williams a sheriff superviser talking on his sheriff department issued radio running a tag number of the van of folks and at 6:23 giving instructions (sounds like he's on duty to me) to have another car check in with the one that stop the van? He says he is POV which means personal owned vehicle so he can't stop the van, but why using county equipment and giving orders on radio then? Also we hear another deputy tell the 911 center to give out the information by MCT which is the computer in the car so that the public with a scanner cant hear them using official radios while they are suppose to be off duty but to late its already on radio

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 1:48 PM KISS said...

This entire episode hurt Joey! Badly!! And he knows it. He did not have a chance in November before Vangate. Now he will just look as foolish as Charles Harris!

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 12:52 PM My 1st comment(topic) said...

The WDT should take all the ad revenue that they're making from having articles about this in the paper every other day, and upgrade whatever they use for the comment sections. EVERY OTHER DAY we get another article about something at the Sheriff's Office. It's ridiculous enough at that, but then add the fact that every one under the sun can comment with total anonymity. Won't ever happen though

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 12:45 PM Ellie said...

Sheriff Woodard, We are ready for your victory celebration! Lifting you up in Jesus precious name! Thank you for all you have done! God bless you! For those who keep harping on the van incident, go buy a Hot-wheel. Hopefully you will get more enjoyment from it!

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 12:45 PM Tim said...

Glad Sheriff Woodard is running for Sheriff again. Finally someone stood up to the good ole boys! They want to keep running this town. It's wrong! I vote for a leader with Courage and that is Sheriff Calvin Woodard!!!! Also, glad he cleaned house ! It wasa needed!! JG would eliminate some positions if given the chance. That's part of leadership change! Sounds like we have some disgruntled employees or ex employees spreading rumors!

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 12:40 PM to woodard said...

Sheriff, so after 3 1/2 years you are an experienced leader? Did you have any experience as a leader when you ran for office? NO, you did not. In fact you didn't have one day of leadership experience. You were also out of touch with Wilson and had no experience dealing with drug issues. In fact you were so concerned with the county and its citizens that you chose to leave them and go to the SBI. Working outside the county. Then after a few years you decided to come back to Wilson and tell people you care? I think not. You were approached by a special interest group to oust the previous sheriff. You also slung mud at the previous sheriff during your campaign and made accusations that were false. But its not ok for another candidate to use the same tactics you used 3 1/2 years ago. I challenge you to produce numbers in drug seizures and asset forfeitures your department brought in, in the last 3 1/2 years. In fact I even challenge Mr. Gardner to pull public records and archive articles from the paper under both administrations to show the difference in drug arrests. Do the leg work on this please. Mr. Woodard, how can drug dealers be scared of you when they are not being prosecuted or sent to prison under federal sentencing. They are not moving or stopping their drug sales. I have yet to see articles in the paper showing anyone who has been arrested for drugs under your tenure, being sentenced to prison or any lengthy time in federal prison. Didn't you lose a task force position with the drug enforcement agency when you first took office? Why did that happen? I also see agencies working together on multiple drug cases throughout surrounding counties. but yet no one from the sheriff's office is ever involved. Why aren't agencies working on drug offenders in Wilson county? You say because these agencies didn't have any targets in the county? That is why the police dept. was involved, because there were targets in the city? It is a joint task force Sheriff, I'm sure there surveillance operations, where cars were followed from the city limits of Wilson to other counties. these cars travelled right through your county, and not one agency asked for your officers help? Since they know the county and could assist greatly in the intelligence gathering during these operations. This is how departments work together. this is how your agency builds relationships and shares the asset forfeitures to bring money to your department. Your deputies need a leader that is going to bridge these gaps that you produced under your leadership the past 3 1/2 years. One day a real event is going to take place in this county that will call for you to really show your skills that you speak of. You have been lucky this term, because nothing of any substance has taken place. When it does, you cant blame others as you have done before with the less than important issues you have faced. As for the van incident, Gardner isn't going to go to the polls and campaign during the primary election between Harris and Woodard. Woodard, you knew what was going on with the van before you ever made the call to 911. You knew who it was and what its purpose was. The van wasn't stopped at a school or even observed at a school. as the 911 tape clearly states. In fact it may have even looked better if when you called that you actually stated that it was seen taking pictures at a school while kids were being released. Just an idea for the future. You knew the people in the van and knew they were not a threat. You said yourself that you knew who they were but wanted to make sure. But then stated you didn't know what they had in their hand, to give validity to the stop. If this van was so creepy and the people were in a van with blacked out windows and acting suspicious, how did you even see the person in the back with a camera in his hand and give such detailed descriptions of the driver and passenger? If this had been an ordinary citizen taking pictures, you wouldn't be seeing it in the paper and Woodard wouldn't have even reported it. Gardner was simply making sure things were being done properly with you and your staff as far as campaign rules go. Gardner chose to do it himself and see what was going on. Mr. Woodard, if you do your job and do it correctly that let people watch and take pictures. You don't seem to have a problem with the WDT taking them!

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 11:39 AM Larry said...

JG I hope you win. Woodard said he wasn’t monitoring the polls but working the election sites. What type of work needed to be done at the sites? I can understand if he was monitoring the traffic as you was doing. Was he getting paid to work the site? Woodard said his job is to look into suspicious behavior, and those in the van acted suspiciously, particularly around schools. Did they not have polls set up at the schools? What was supicious about that? There were several vehicles in and out of the polls, same vehicles bringing in drinks and food for the volunteers. Even he had employees on a black truck acting suspicious and driving slow.
"I don’t know what his training is,” Woodard said of Gardner. really CW, you know this man very well. You grew up near and around him. You know he have just as much experience as you even in a leadership role. Let's stay honest CW. How you gonna talk about this man character? What about your character? crime rate is down in Wilson County. Because of Wilson Police Department, that's where those numbers are coming from."I’m not familiar with Joey Gardner other than he used to work here years ago.” SMH! chose to volunteer and use their own time. They did that because you asked for them to use their time. The sign up sheet remember???Woodard said in the recent drug bust where there were multi-agency arrests, there was a good reason for Wilson Police to be involved. We know there were good reason for the police involvment, but why was the sheriff's office not involved? Drug dealears have not moved out of the county after bust! They have no where to go because they nickel and dime dealers. So come again."Agencies from outside of the region always ask local police to be involved to serve warrants and to perform certain duties they can’t do.” But don't the sheriff have more athority to handle city and county? I would think they would contact the county to assist just as the city police. Or do those Agencies don't think You and SOME of your staff are competent to assist? Woodard said the sheriff’s office is very involved in the community and they stop drugs. NO, you have not stop drugs. The HEROIN is on the rise!!! Drugs are still here. If Scotty Parker can work with the city of Rocky Mount, why can't he work drugs with Wilson County Calvin's Department? Take this Article off. County of Wilson this man is not telling the truth!!!! CW why did you want to be Sheriff again? Waiting on the next Articles.


Friday, May 16, 2014 at 10:55 AM Jo Gardner//C Woodard said...

Wow, What is going on with Wilson Sheriffs Office overall? It appears since the new leadership has taken office their has been a great amount of controversial arguments from all aspects. Of Course each person has a solution for thier behaviors. I think Wilson County needs to transfer in someone with not ties to the community at all for meeting the needs of the entire county. Wilson County is looking too radical right now

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 10:36 AM Snoops said...

Who was someone for sheriff that hides behind a van window spying on people at the polls? Sheriff Woodard had my vote! Also, glad he has the van checked out! I for one appreciate it! It was reported being seen at numerous poll sites especially schools. Employees were not made to work the polls either! I know for a fact!

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 10:16 AM Local Observer said...

I really need more info than I have as this time, to make an unbiased decision. I seem mistakes on both sides. Right now the single most alarming fact is why would our sheriff call 911. I would like to think he can get in touch directly with an officer, whether it be a city or county officer.And Mr gardner has info on any wrong doing in the sheriffs office. Why not elaborate.

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 10:05 AM who.... said...

Who is this joey Gardner man talks a
lot about things I'm sure he knows nothing about. Such as what going on inside the office of the sheriff, things he knows absolutely nothing about. If he keeps making these horrible accusations about the sheriff then needs to prove them otherwise he is only blowing hot air. Put up or shut up.

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 9:45 AM Go JG said...

There needs to be a debate between the two of them. It needs to be in the style of Lincoln/Douglas. It would be great if it could take place at Flemming Stadium so we could have as many go as wanted. CW would not do it because he then would have to answer questions about his mistakes like:
Being called before Judge Fitch about jail release times.
Putting a friend in charge of the jail who has no experience and after removing him still keeping him in the same salary.
His deputy and the little girl on the bike.
Having a "chief of staff" What ever that is?
Having JG pulled over when he did nothing wrong.
@Louise when in a public place and polling areas are public anyone can take your picture without your permission.
No way he will do it. TO scared!!

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 9:17 AM Wondering said...

21 deputies at 24 polling sites and the county
was covered properly?Might have been but that
means some deputies could have worked double shifts to cover and is that really safe.
I also feel that no deputy whoever he supports
should outwardly show that support.It puts a strain on the whole department by splitting the
office into different factions.
Also for you bleeding hearts I know a few deputies
in the Sheriffs Office who said intimidation tactics were used to force some of them to work some polling sites.
Calvin is abusing his power about like Obama.

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 9:14 AM jj said...

When it comes to the safety of my town and my family I will vote for the one most qualified. I have been very impressed with the work and leadership Calvin Woodard has shown me and my family. He deeply cares about this town. Mr. Gardner seems too desperate, along with his pack-rats, in trying to dig up information on Calvin that's just simply not true. This will not be Mr. Gardner's last attempt.....he'll keep trying!

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 9:04 AM up 'til now said...

Up until this latest episode, I would probably have voted for Mr. Gardner. Now, I just will not vote. I do not agree with the way Calvin is running the department, but Mr. Gardner just showed everyone how immature he is, and has no real platform to run on. The van episode has really hurt his reputation

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 8:34 AM Montress said...

My comment likely will not make it in the Wilson Times site. I do hope Joey Gardner is successful in his run for sheriff - and I do hope he will re-hire the dozens of deputies that Calvin Woodard fired for political reasons. This one first action by Woodard cost the County taxpayers a lot of money. As to drug arrests, most of the ones I see in the paper are for simple possession. It will be a good campaign if a spotlight is aimed at all the corners of the candidates qualifications and actions - both on Joey Gardner AND on the current Sheriff's Dept.

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 8:32 AM He got his self in trouble.... said...

Mr. Gardner certainly overstep when he got himself into a Van to take picture of the polling sites with the "crowd" he was with at the time. he very well may have put the nail in his election by the company he is keeping. Mr. Gardner there is a reason Wayne is not there anymore.

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 8:21 AM Louise said...

Mr. Gardner you are upset because you VIOLATED the citizens' rights by taking pictures at the polling sites. Your tactics were intimidating and very scary considering the world we live in today. It is not about riding in a dark blue van; it is about riding slowly, turning around and riding back slowly at the polling sites. Mr. Gardner you got down in the sewer with your sewer rats and you got caught. You should have driven your personal vehicle and get out and met the folks at the polling places. Please Stop the whining, run a clean campaign and tell us what you would do as Sheriff of our county.

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 7:49 AM disgusting said...

Joey Gardner needs to shut up. He is really making me sick. This is offensive and especially to the deputies. He doesn't have a clue.

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 7:24 AM Phil said...

Joey is really starting to get on my nerves. He wants to be Sheriff, but he is acting like a jealous, little child. I definitely don't want someone like that in office.

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 3:20 AM Round two of dead horse topic for the WDT said...

Yay, another click-bait article for the same ranters and clowns on both sides to inundate the comments section with idiocy. However, I do agree with an earlier commenter on a previous article that the position should be apolitical and that it should revert from being an elected position to one that is granted in multi-year contract by the county commissioners, based on the actual aptitude and experience (similar to the county manager and health department director). Political leanings should have no place in the execution of the sheriff's job duties and responsibilities.

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 3:05 AM Fat Cat Bully said...

The only way Gardner will win is through slander, not merit. Fat Cat

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