HAYWOOD COUNTY, NC (WSPA) – The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is conducting a criminal investigation into a former Haywood County Sheriff’s Office detective’s actions.
According to a sheriff’s office news release, Kevin Smathers was fired from the sheriff’s office on Aug. 30 after he allegedly accessed the evidence room without permission on several occasions and reportedly took various items.
Sheriff’s office officials said Smathers started working at the sheriff’s office in 2007 and began working as a detective in 2015.
While a detective, Smathers worked property crimes cases, and never worked drug task force cases.
The sheriff’s office asked the SBI to conduct a criminal investigation into Smathers, as well as have an outside consultant do a complete inventory and audit of the sheriff’s office’s evidence room, according to the release.
“This situation is devastating for so many people — for the employees of this Office who work incredibly hard every day to meet high performance standards this line of work requires, and for our citizens who place their trust in law enforcement to help them when they are in need,” Haywood County Sheriff Greg Christopher said.
“We ask the citizens of our county who have placed their trust in our Office to remember this deeply concerning situation does not align in any way with the ethics and integrity of this office,” Christopher said. “We will continue to work diligently in our communities to cultivate trust and partnerships that enhance the quality of life for our citizens.”
According to the release, the district attorney’s office is working with the sheriff’s office and the SBI.