New sheriff takes over in Granville County following previous sheriff’s resignation

Local News

OXFORD, N.C. (WNCN) — The Granville County Board of Commissioners appointed a new sheriff during a special meeting Monday morning, county officials said in a news release.

John Blackwell Hardy, III will serve the remainder of former Sheriff Charles Noblin’s term following Noblin’s Oct. 27 resignation.

Hardy, who has nearly 30 years of military and law enforcement experience, will serve as sheriff through Dec. 5, 2022, when Noblin’s term would have ended.

According to the release, Hardy was an infantry officer in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve for 17 years and achieved the rank of major.

While serving in the military, Hardy also completed part of 25 years of service in federal law enforcement where he worked as a correctional officer at FCC Butner and as a deputy U.S. Marshal assigned to the Eastern District of North Carolina.

He has also worked in the patrol division of the Oxford Police Department and as a deputy sheriff in the Court Security Division of the Granville County Sheriff’s Office.

Granville County Attorney Jim Wrenn said in a statement that:

The Board of Commissioners made a concerted effort to recruit a qualified individual to shepherd the Sheriff’s Office through this transitional period until the citizens of Granville County have the opportunity to choose their preferred candidate in the upcoming elections. The process to fill the remainder of the current unexpired Sheriff’s term was crafted to ensure that the chosen individual would have the necessary qualities to lead the Sheriff’s Office for the next year and would also pledge to refrain from filing to participate in the 2022 election for Sheriff and not publicly support or endorse any candidates for Sheriff. The Board of Commissioners believe that John Hardy will continue his distinguished career of public service by successfully guiding the Sheriff’s Office to the conclusion of the current term in the dedicated and professional manner shown throughout his career.”

Granville County Attorney Jim Wrenn

Hardy’s appointment comes in the wake of an investigation involving four former Granville County Sheriff’s Office employees.

Back in October, former Sheriff Brindell Wilkins was indicted on charges of falsifying training records, while he was already on suspension for previous obstruction charges. Wilkins had previously been suspended, accused of urging someone to kill one of his own deputies.

Former Chief Deputy Sherwood Boyd was also indicted on obstruction charges along with two other former deputies.

When CBS 17 went to talk with Noblin, who was Wilkins’s replacement, he announced his resignation.

“Due to personal reasons beyond my control and newly discovered information brought to my attention concerning the ongoing investigation, I feel that it is in my best interest and betterment of Granville County’s Sheriff Office that I inform you of my resignation effective October 27th 5:00pm,” Noblin wrote.

Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman is handling the investigation into the sheriff’s office.

More details on Noblin’s involvement in the investigation have yet to be released.

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