NORTH CAROLINA IN THE OFFICE OF
STOKES COUNTY 00 DOJ 0909
ANDREW NEWSOM, )
vs. ) PROPOSAL FOR DECISION
N.C. SHERIFFS’ EDUCATION AND )
TRAINING STANDARDS )
THIS CAUSE COMING ON TO BE HEARD and being heard before the Honorable
James L. Conner, II, Administrative Law Judge, on December 14, 2000, in Danbury, Stokes County,
North Carolina. Proposed findings were submitted by electronic mail on January 19, 2001
For Petitioner: Jeffrey S. Lisson, Esq.
For Respondent: John J. Aldridge, III, Assistant Attorney General
Is Respondent’s proposed denial of Petitioner’s certification as a justice officer supported by
STATUTES AND RULES AT ISSUE
N.C. Gen. Stat. Chapter 17E
12 NCAC 10B .0204(c) (1), (2)
12 NCAC 10B .0204(d)(2)
1. Both parties are properly before this Administrative Law Judge, in that jurisdiction and venue
are proper. Both parties received Notice of Hearing, and Petitioner received the Proposed
Revocation of Justice Officer Certification letter mailed by Respondent on June 14, 2000.
2. The North Carolina Sheriffs’ Education and Training Standards Commission (Respondent)
has the authority granted under Chapter 17E of the North Carolina General Statutes, and Title
12 of the North Carolina Administrative Code, Chapter 10, subchapter 10B, to certify justice
officers as either deputy sheriffs or jailers, and to deny, revoke, or suspend such certification.
3. On October 11, 1993, Petitioner completed a Personal History Statement (form F-3) as a part
of the application for certification with the Criminal Justice Education and Training
Standards Commission. Question number 47 of that form asked: “Have you ever been
arrested by a law enforcement officer or otherwise charged with a criminal offense?”
Petitioner answered, “No.”
4. On November 24, 1993, Petitioner submitted a completed Report of Appointment Form
(Form F-5A) to the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards
Commission as a part of his application for certification through the King Police Department.
Petitioner failed to list any of his previous charges in the section of the form requesting such
5. Petitioner was issued a probationary law enforcement certification through the Criminal
Justice Education and Training Standards Commission (GRA 243137606) on November 24,
6. Petitioner was issued a general law enforcement certification through the Criminal Justice
Education and Training Standards Commission (GNA 243137606) on November 24, 1994.
7. Petitioner applied for certification with the Stokes County Sheriff’s Office through the
Respondent on March 16, 2000.
8. 12 NCAC 10B .0204 (c)(1) and (2) provide:
(c) The Commission may revoke, suspend, or deny the certification of a justice officer
when the commission finds that the applicant for certification or the certified officer
(1) has knowingly made a material misrepresentation of any information
required for certification or accreditation from the Commission or the North
Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission;
(2) has knowingly or designedly by any means of false pretense, deception,
defraudation, misrepresentation or cheating whatsoever, obtained or
attempted to obtain credit, training, or certification from the Commission or
the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards
9. Petitioner was charged on or about March 18, 1989 in Pitt County with a criminal offense of
a Misdemeanor injury to real property (1989 CR 005820), which was dismissed April 10,
1988 [sic]; and the criminal offense of Misdemeanor Pur/ Poss Beer/Wine Underage (1988
CR 016815) in Pitt County, for which he paid a fine in the Clerk’s Office and was not
required to attend Court. Petitioner did not list these charges on his Personal History
Statement (form F-3) or his Report of Appointment Form (form F-5).
10. By letter, dated June 14, 2000 Petitioner was notified by Julia Lohman, Director of the
Sheriffs’ Educational and Training Standards Commission that probable cause existed to
believe Petitioner’s application for certification was subject to be denied based on his
omission of the above referenced criminal charges on the Personal History Statement Form
(form F-3) and Report of Appointment Form (form F-5) completed in furtherance of his
application for certification through the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and
Training Standards Commission.
ADJUDICATED FINDINGS OF FACT
1. Andrew Newsom is 30 years old. He has been an officer with the King Police Department
for seven years. He began in patrol, and now holds the rank of detective.
2. Detective Newsom was raised in the City of King, North Carolina. After graduating from
South Stokes High School, he attended East Carolina University from fall 1988 to spring
1993, obtaining a degree in criminal justice.
3. During that time, he was an intern with the City of Greenville, North Carolina, Police
Department by day, and completed his Basic Law Enforcement Training by night.
Greenville, North Carolina is in Pitt County.
4. Detective Newsom’s mother was rendered a quadriplegic due to an auto accident involving a
drunk driver. Andrew Newsom, his brother, and his father cared for his mother. She died in
1988. It was obvious from Detective Newsom’s demeanor that this was a traumatic
experience for him, and remains painful for him to this day.
5. In his first year at East Carolina University, young Newsom and two college friends went to a
bar called the Elbow Room. There, one of his friends bought a beer in a cup and gave it to
Newsom. A North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement Agent approached Newsom and
asked if the beer was his. Newsom admitted it was, and that he was underage (he was 18 at
6. The Petitioner admitted to consuming the alcohol in the bar that evening. The Petitioner was
asked to step outside of the bar by the ALE agent and to sit in the agent’s patrol vehicle. The
Petitioner did so. The Petitioner demonstrated a detailed recollection of events on the date in
7. The agent gave Detective Newsom a citation for minor in possession of beer/unfortified
wine, a violation of N.C.G.S § 18B-302(b)(1). The Alcohol Law Enforcement Agent told
Detective Newsom that the citation was like a traffic ticket and would not be on his record.
The date of offense was September 9, 1988. The matter was disposed of September 19, 1988
when Detective Newsom paid the citation in the Clerk’s office. He effectively entered a plea
of guilty and received a verdict of guilty.
8. On or about March 18, 1989, while horsing around with friends, Newsom’s hand was
pushed into a glass enclosure, which housed a fire extinguisher, causing the glass to break.
Though a dormitory resident assistant told Detective Newsom he only needed to pay for the
damage, an ECU security officer came by and asked Detective Newsom to go with him to the
Magistrate’s Office. Detective Newsom was not handcuffed, was not told he was under
arrest, and was not told that he was not free to leave. Detective Newsom voluntarily went
with the officer to the Magistrate’s office, where he received a Summons to Court. When he
went to Court, the matter was voluntarily dismissed on April 10, 1989. The voluntary
dismissal was an adjudication that Detective Newsom had not committed the offense of
injury to real property.
9. Detective Newsom believed that the voluntarily dismissed injury to real property charge was
not on his record.
10. Detective Newsom was not placed under arrest for either of the offenses described above.
11. The commission and conviction for underage possession of beer or unfortified wine occurred
more than 5 years before Detective Newsom’s application for certification with the North
Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission.
12. Stokes County is a small county in which there are only three law enforcement agencies, the
Stokes County Sheriff’s Department, King Police Department, and Walnut Cove Police
Department. The agencies cooperate among themselves. Often, officers and detectives from
the police departments are sworn as sheriff deputies at the request of their departments and
the sheriff’s department. This assists all agencies, in that officers can help with sheriff’s
investigations, and can pursue their own investigations in the county without the assistance
of a sheriff’s deputy.
13. Upon his request for certification through the Sheriffs’ Educational and Training Standards
Commission, Captain Al Tuttle of the Stokes County Sheriff’s Department was informed by
the Sheriffs’ Educational and Training Standards Commission that Detective Newsom had
the above-listed charges on his criminal record.
14. The same day, Captain Tuttle informed Detective Newsom of this information. Detective
Newsom appeared shocked and unaware that these matters were on his record. He
immediately told Captain Tuttle all details he could recall of both incidents.
15. The same day, Detective Newsom called his supervisors at the King Police Department and
the Chief of Police, and likewise told them all details he could recall of the incidents. His
versions of what occurred have been consistent throughout, including at this hearing.
16. Detective Newsom has been a valued and valuable member of the King Police Department.
He is well respected by the community and has an impeccable reputation for honesty and
integrity. He volunteers his off-duty time to assist with community projects and has received
many commendations from his superiors, community members, and the political leaders of
the City of King. His most recent evaluation in November 1999 rated him “superior” in all
17. On his application for certification with the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and
Training Standards Commission, Detective Newsom listed his addresses in the City of
Greenville, Pitt County, North Carolina. According to testimony from all law enforcement
officers, though no statewide electronic searches existed at the time which would show the
charges Detective Newsom had, it would be simple for any officer to call the Pitt County
Clerk’s office by telephone and ask for any individuals’ criminal record. Investigators
routinely made such phone calls. The Court thus finds as a fact that Detective Newsom made
no effort to hide or prevent the Commission or others from knowing his residence in Pitt
County, which would allow any investigator to check whether he had a criminal record there.
This disclosure would not excuse an intentional misrepresentation regarding criminal record.
However, it does tend to indicate lack of intent to conceal his record in Pitt County.
18. Detective Newsom disclosed on his initial application that he had used marijuana, which the
Assistant Director of the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards
Commission testified they likely would not have been able to discover had Detective
Newsom not disclosed it voluntarily. This disclosure also tends to show lack of intent to
conceal damaging information.
19. All witnesses who knew Detective Newsom, including persons called at this hearing as
witnesses for the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards
Commission, gave strong positive evidence of Detective Newsom’s reputation for
truthfulness and honesty. Further, a criminal defense attorney with nearly three decades of
practice in Stokes County testified that Detective Newsom was consistently and always
honest and trustworthy. In toto, the positive evidence of Detective Newsom’s reputation for
truthfulness and honesty was the strongest the undersigned had ever heard.
20. At the time he received the charges in Pitt County, Detective Newsom was dealing with the
exceptional trauma of the death of his mother.
21. Detective Newsom was forthright and honest when it was disclosed to him that his failure to
list the charges detailed above could be a problem on his application to be sworn with the
Stokes County Sheriff’s Department.
22. There is no indicia that Detective Newsom ever attempted to mislead any investigators, the
North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission, or the North
Carolina Sheriffs’ Education and Training Standards Commission.
23. The Court finds as a fact that it is important for applicants and sworn officers to be honest,
truthful, and have integrity. It is further important that they reveal full and truthful
information on their applications.
24. The Court finds as a fact that Detective Newsom did not intend to mislead, conceal, or hide
the charges from Pitt County. This is shown by his disclosure of his residence in Pitt County,
as well as his voluntary admission to one instance of marijuana use.
25. All officers in any way involved in hiring decisions, or the recommendation of Detective
Newsom for his position with the King Police Department, testified that if the Pitt County
charges had been disclosed on his initial application, it would not have affected their hiring
26. Further, all officials involved in the recommendation or hiring decisions testified that if they
believed the failure to list the charges was an honest mistake, it would not have affected their
hiring decisions. Sheriff Mike Joyce of the Stokes County Sheriff’s Office testified that if it
were shown that the Petitioner made a knowing material misrepresentation of his criminal
history record information, he would not be able to give an answer as to whether he would
still want him as a deputy sheriff.
27. The Assistant Director of the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Education and Training Standards
Commission testified he found no direct evidence of any dishonest purpose or intent to
deceive by Detective Newsom in his initial application for certification with the North
Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission, or with the
Sheriffs’ Educational and Training Standards Commission.
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
1. Both parties are properly before this Administrative Law Judge, in that jurisdiction and venue
are proper, and both parties received proper Notice of Hearing.
2. 12 NCAC 10B.0204(d)(2) limits the use by both Commissions of Class B Misdemeanors to
revoke, suspend, or deny certification to those which have a date of commission or
conviction within five years of the date of application. As the minor in possession charge
and conviction occurred more than five years prior to the date of application, they could not
have been used by either Commission to revoke, deny, or suspend Detective Newsom’s
certification at the time the application was made, and thus could not have been material.
3. The Voluntary Dismissal of Petitioner’s Injury to Real Property charge in 1989, more than
four years prior to his application, was an adjudication on the merits that Petitioner did not
commit the offense of Injury to Real Property. As he was not arrested on the charge, the only
violation by Petitioner in failing to list this charge on his forms was that he had been charged
with the offense.
4. However, the Court further concludes as a matter of law that the North Carolina Criminal
Justice Education and Training Standards Commission could not have denied Petitioner
certification simply because he had been charged, but only if he had been convicted or
committed the crime.
5. The Court concludes as a matter of law that the failure of Petitioner to list the Injury to Real
Property charge was not material to his application, and was not a material misrepresentation
of any information required for certification or accreditation
6. The Court further concludes as a matter of law that Petitioner did not knowingly or
designedly by any means of false pretense, deception, fraud, misrepresentation or cheating
whatsoever, obtain or attempt to obtain certification from the North Carolina Criminal
Justice Education Training Standards Commission or the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Education
and Training Standards Commission.
7. Any Finding of Fact more appropriately denominated a Conclusion of Law is incorporated
8. Respondent should not deny or defer Petitioner’s certification.
Based upon the foregoing Stipulated Findings of Fact, Adjudicated Findings of Fact, and
Conclusions of Law, the undersigned makes the following:
PROPOSAL FOR DECISION
It is recommended that Respondent issue certification to Petitioner.
It is hereby ordered that the agency serve a copy of the final decision on the Office of
Administrative Hearings, PO Drawer 27447, Raleigh, NC 27611-7447, in accordance with G.S.
The agency that will make the final decision in this contested case is the North Carolina
Sheriffs’ Education and Training Standards Commission. This agency is required to give each party
an opportunity to file exceptions and proposed findings of fact and to present oral and written
arguments to the agency. G.S. Section 150B-40(e).
A copy of the final decision or order shall be served upon each party personally or by
certified mail addressed to the party at the latest address given by the party to the agency and a copy
shall be furnished to the attorney of record.
This the 5th day of March, 2001.
James L. Conner, II
Administrative Law Judge