Where's the pot?

Many entertaining theories were hatched in an attempt to explain what happened to the almost 5,000 pounds of marijuana that disappeared while in the custody of the Chatham County Sheriff's department in 2001. Just to give you a sense of scale, that's 80,000 oz. Most recreational users buy a quarter of an ounce at a time. Maybe someone had a party and generously smoked out every single person in Chatham, Orange, and Durham counties. Probably not, but they could have with that much pot!

When it comes to our wild theories, it appears that the truth may be stranger than fiction.

...former Chatham County Deputy Dan Phillips is suing former Chatham County Sheriff Ike Gray for wrongful termination.

Phillips claims the sheriff fired him Jan. 18, 2001, because he tried to bring attention to racism at a Chatham County high school and because he took an informant to the FBI who had information about thousands of pounds of seized marijuana that went missing from the Chatham County Sheriff's Office.
- Chapel Hill Herald, 2/26/05

But still, I don't expect this to have much of an impact on the Sheriff. Chatham County voters seem to have a pretty high tolerance for deception. (See also: Bunkey Morgan.)



Sorry to dis your fellow Chatham-ites, Duncan. So where's the pot again?

Just to clarify, Ike Gray is the _former_ sheriff of Chatham County, who was appointed to the office after the notorious Don Whitt, who had made Gray his lackey, stepped down under a cloud of suspicion. Gray was soon thereafter bounced from office by those self-same deception-loving Chatham voters, over this issue and other allegations of corruption in the department.

Sheriff Webster is the new sheriff in tow. He fired all the goons and he's created a pretty professionial department.

Nice try, Ruby.

Make that "in town." New sheriff "in town."


None of that is news to me, Duncan. But I doubt many readers here know much about the missing marijuana story and I thought it might be of interest to some.

For all the harshing I do on Chapel Hill voters, I thought I'd just spread the love to Chatham for a change. It's not meant as some kind of attack.

"Most recreational users buy a quarter of an ounce at a time."

you get a much better value if you buy in bulk, just like buying a multi-roll bundle of toilet paper rather than individual rolls.

Well, the half of the pot that was stolen from the truck hasn't turned up. The other half, which the Whitt/Gray/Keck crowd buried in the landfill, was unearthed by the backhoe operator who buried it, who was subsequently charged and convicted.

Are you just discovering the "Case of the Missing Chatham Pot"? It's such an old story, and nothing new about it is being revealed in the lawsuit. The real story in this is the lawsuit itself, the racism at Chatham Central (which has become the school of choice for white parents who pull their kids out of Jordan-Matthews so they don't have to go to school with Latinos), and the bullying and strongarm tactics of old Sheriff Don Whitt and his minions, who have long since been kicked out on their ear.

By the way, I think's it a little unfair to blame "Chatham voters," collectively, for Bunkey Morgan. One district of voters elected him, many of the rest tried to get his candidacy invalidated based on residency requirements and his blatant fraud, Chapel Hill's own then-Sen. Howard Lee gave him money and showed up at a campaign function, Morgan's campaign had deep and troubling ties to Chapel Hill's own U.S. Rep. David Price, and progressive darling Gary Phillips didn't bother to show up for the race against Morgan. He was too busy with other things, I suppose.

Maybe they should name a building out at Briar Chapel for Lee and Price.

In the wake of Morgan's election, at least two grassroots coalitions have emerged to fight him and his plans for Chatham County, and they've already had electoral success -- both on the board of commissioners and the school board. Morgan's election has energized a political movement in Chatham as well as the Democratic party here. The party has become much more active here, and the listening sessions they're conducting in precincts around this giant county are likely to serve as a model for local parties around the state, if we're to believe new state party chair Meeks.

Yeah, I'm representing for P-town and all my dogs in Chatham.

I didn't think it was an attack. Just something fun to talk about.

According to NBC 17 News the jury ruled that Dan Phillips was wronged and awarded him $101,000 and Gray plans to appeal.



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