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Former sheriff won’t be handing out paychecks anytime soon

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Ronald Hewitt, former Brunswick County sheriff, has been sentenced to 16 months in prison, ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and attend mandatory substance-abuse counseling after pleading guilty to obstructing justice in a case that was a hit parade of workplace impropriety.

Hewitt interfered with an investigation into complaints from current and former deputies about corruption and misconduct in his performance as sheriff, the court found.

Employees testified that Hewitt sexually harassed female employees, made racist remarks and threats against employees and ordered staff to do personal chores for him, such as landscaping his property. They said he was frequently drunk while on duty.

Hewitt treated his department as “his personal kingdom,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Dennis Duffy.

Nothing affirms Duffy’s observation like Hewitt’s own words on paydays. Employees testified he would frequently tell employees while handing out paychecks, “These are your house payments, these are your truck payments, I put the food on the table and I am the father of this family.”

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