Sheriff questions dismissal of charge

10:00 am | April 30, 2013

Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes said Monday the dismissal of a perjury charge lodged against a Roan Mountain constable was “disturbing,” and said he’ll try to convince prosecutors to renew their abandoned efforts.

The grand jury indictment of Constable Barney Brown, alleging that he lied when he signed an affidavit claiming he had no felony convictions before running for the law enforcement position, was dismissed last week by Criminal Court Judge Stacy Street when the district attorney’s office said it could not prove Brown was a convicted felon.

In 2010, Mathes came forward with records he said proved Brown was convicted of felony burglary and theft charges in 1961 in Washington, D.C., when he was 19.

The sheriff said the conviction meant Brown could not serve as a law enforcement officer, and couldn’t even legally carry a firearm in the performance of his duties.

“I have all the documents,” Mathes said. “I don’t even know what to say about this. It was never even taken to trial.”

Brown quickly resigned after the release of the information, but a month later the Carter County Commission re-elected him as a constable.

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