If nothing else, Jeffrey Smith of Dublin is a persistent individual. The shame of it is that his persistence is aimed in an entirely unproductive direction and pushes the envelope past legal lines.
Smith, who is an elected official with the town of Dublin, recently had warrants for his arrest issued in Sampson County after in investigation by the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office and North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement agency that cited Smith for use of illegal gambling machines.
It’s a reoccurring story being written by Smith, who has been facing similar charges in Bladen and Columbus counties over the past few years.
But with each arrest, Smith’s arrogance seems to grow exponentially. Initially, a few years ago, Smith appeared in the Bladen Journal offices to plead his case — but that defense centered primarily around the fact that stories published in the newspaper about his arrest bothered his mother more than it did him.
Earlier this month, the level of arrogance spewed forth a letter from his new attorney, Cynthia Singletary, who constructed the letter in both email and hand-delivered form by a private investigator to all media outlets in the region who reported Smith’s arrest in Sampson County.
Somehow, Smith had convinced Singletary that no such arrest had taken place or could take place since he had no business interests in Sampson County. Both claims were untrue.
As an elected official, Smith opens his personal and professional life up to far more scrutiny and criticism than other residents. When he is elected by the people and takes the oath of public office, he should understand that he will be held to a higher standard and should behave as such.
Smith neither understands nor behaves accordingly.
While we are confident the legal system will handle Smith in a timely and justifiable manner, it remains a shame that we cannot say the same for Smith’s fellow elected officials with the town of Dublin.
Back when his arrest for providing illegal gaming devices first arose and his arrogance of the law began, we asked each of Dublin’s elected officials whether Smith was bringing unnecessary and negative attention to the small town — and perhaps should be relieved of his duties. The result was a fairly evenly split town board, one side willing to allow Smith the chance to do right and the other ready to send him packing.
We think it’s time the board took action. Smith’s continued arrogance, bringing shame to the town board and the community he serves more than falls within a justifiable reason to remove him.
And if not, that shame also rests on the collective shoulders of the board for not finding a way to remove what is becoming a growing small-town cancer.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Honesty is a very expensive gift. Don’t expect it from cheap people.”