SHELBY — The Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office will soon lose another captain, at least temporarily.
Bobby Steen, in light of criminal charges he faces for worthless checks, took office leave in June. Sheriff Raymond Hamrick said Alan Norman plans to pursue politics outside the agency come Aug. 31.
“I’m still continuing to come into work, do the job to the best of my ability, be accessible to the public and agency, and separating politics from the job,” Norman said Wednesday.
Norman faces Republican Don Allen, a retired SBI agent, in November’s election for sheriff.
Hamrick was unsure if Norman would use vacation or overtime to round out the paid leave.
“(Norman) says he does have enough time to do it,” Hamrick said.
County Manager David Dear previously said Norman, who is the Democratic nominee for sheriff, will continue to serve under Hamrick until he takes a “voluntary” leave of absence to actively campaign closer to the November election. That was June 4.
“Back when he met with myself and David Dear, (Norman) said he was going to leave in August — originally said the 15th,” said Hamrick. “Said he’d like to stay on till the end of the month and I let him stay on.”
Hamrick said Norman would have to leave because of office policy which prohibits campaigning at work.
Allen, who spoke to The Star by phone Wednesday, said his campaign is proceeding nicely and, apparently, drama-free.
“Everywhere I go, I get a good response from people,” he said. “I enjoy meeting people and speaking with them about their concerns. Seems to be more support this time from conservative folks.”
A winding, dramatic road
Hamrick, who’s battled ongoing illness and kidney failure in 2007, was elected as sheriff in 2002 and won reelection in 2006. He was defeated in the 2010 Democratic primary, receiving 2 percent of the vote.
The race for sheriff included a candidate previously convicted of a felony drug charge who later pleaded guilty to assaulting a legislator, an incumbent sheriff who announced his candidacy on the last day of filing and after years of health problems, a public forum debacle that resulted in one watchdog agency citing potential First Amendment violations and an inter-office rivalry that led two high-ranking officers into leaves of absence.
Reach reporter David Allen at 704-669-3329