‘Very sad.’ Co-worker hopes Rowan County commissioner receives help
ROWAN COUNTY, NC (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – A day after body camera footage was released showing the DWI arrest of Rowan County Commissioner Craig Pierce, FOX 46 is fighting to see if the county is considering a hold him accountable.
The video shows Commissioner Pierce failing numerous roadside field sobriety tests and threatening to withdraw funding from the Salisbury Police Department. An officer in the video says Pierce detonated a .27 during a breathalyzer test. This is more than three times the legal limit.
âI’m not telling you how to do your job,â Pierce says in the video, âI’m just telling you that I’ll make sure you don’t have the funds to do your job if that’s the way you are. treat people.
FOX 46 Northeast Bureau Chief Sydney Heiberger and photojournalist Brian Christiansen visited Pierce’s home to see if he would comment on the video and the comments he made there. His wife answered the door and slammed it shut when she saw it was the media. She then called the Rowan County Sheriff’s Department, who told reporters they were not breaking any laws by being on a public street.
Heiberger also contacted the County Director, County Attorney, Salisbury PD, Pierce Defense Attorney and all Rowan County Commissioners. The county director’s office said he was on vacation all week. The county attorney said he was not commenting on questions relating to the commissioners. Salisbury PD says they will not comment on the matter. The only person who agreed to speak was Commissioner Judy Klusman.
âI am very sad for Commissioner Pierce. He has worked very hard in the Commission and I hope things can work out for him and he can get the help he needs, âshe said.
When asked if she was concerned about Pierce’s ability to hold public office, Klusman said she was not worried.
âWhen you’re drunk you say a lot of things,â she said.
While County District Attorney Jay Dees has said he will not comment on matters relating to the commissioners, he said during his 16-year tenure he was not aware of any official discussions regarding to dismiss elected commissioners.
âUnless a crime is committed, the commission cannot do anything. The only thing that can happen is that Commissioner Pierce, if he chooses, can resign, âKlusman said.
In North Carolina, it is very difficult to remove an elected county commissioner unless he commits a crime or leaves his jurisdiction. A county government has only tried to remove an elected commissioner a handful of times in the state’s history, using a common law practice known as âamotionâ. In several cases, the issue has been taken to the North Carolina Supreme Court.
A judge ordered the release of the body camera footage after the Salisbury Post and Gray Television filed a complaint.
Pierce is due in court in September.