Wake Sheriff Baker defends himself in light of petition for removal from office

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Wake Sheriff Gerald Baker has responded Wednesday to a petition to remove him from office that was filed on Monday.

State law allows voters to petition for the removal of a political office-holder with just five signatures. Because the Wake County District Attorney was not one of those signing this petition, Baker says it should be dismissed.

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Wake Sheriff Gerald Baker
Wake Sheriff Gerald Baker defends himself in light of petition for removal from office

The law says any petition must have the approval of the current district attorney. Since it’s that office that would essentially prosecute the case.

Wake District Attorney Lorrin Freeman told WRAL Investigates on Tuesday that she did not approve the petition.

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For years, WRAL Investigates has reported on controversial staff hirings and firings within the sheriff’s office.

Most recently, the family of slain Deputy Ned Byrd felt the sheriff was retaliating against Byrd’s fellow K-9 officers for their roles in his funeral.

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Sheriffs can be removed for, among other things, failure to perform the duties of the office and maladministration in office which the petition contends.

In his response, Baker did not address any of the allegations, but argued the fact Freeman didn’t sign off is enough to dismiss the motion to remove him from office.

A Superior Court judge will have the final say in the matter.

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