PITT COUNTY - A former Pitt County assistant district attorney is under investigation by the SBI over numerous court cases that he dismissed.
Pitt County District Attorney Kimberly Robb said she requested the SBI to investigate Faris Dixon, who was Pitt County's assistant district attorney until May 14. Faris is also a current candidate for District Court judge after winning the primary on May 6.
NewsChannel 12 looked into court records, and learned that the SBI is investigating dozens of cases that Dixon had dismissed.
Robb confirmed she was asked by Green Police's Code Enforcement Division on May 12 about a dismissed case involving Ace Taxi owner Mahmoud Ahmed Atiyha.
In an email to Greenville Police Chief Hassan Aden, a Code Enforcement official asked why the charges against Atiyha --including speeding, reckless driving, and not having a valid driver's license-- were dropped.
"We knew this individual was being charged on numerous counts and discovered that all of these charges made against the individual were dismissed... We believe we had solid evidence and our cases were very convincing. We were curious as to why all charges were dropped and wanted to inquire with the District Attorney's Office," wrote the Code Enforcement official to Chief Aden.
According to court records, Dixon dismissed all the traffic violation cases against Atiyha. The paperwork states "compliance" as the reasons for the dismissal.
A source close to the investigation said Dixon signed off on more than 100 case dismissals total, all of which are being reviewed. It's unclear why Dixon dismissed so many cases, including the one involving Atiyha.
Regardless of the outcome in the Dixon investigation, all cases that were dismissed will stay dismissed, officials said.
Dixon will face Judge Lee Teague in the general election in November.
A judge candidate for Pitt County District Court and former assistant district attorney is under investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation.
Pitt County District Attorney Kimberly Robb said she requested the SBI to investigate Faris Dixon, who won the May 6 primary for District Court judge and was Pitt County's assistant district attorney until Wednesday.
"I can confirm that I requested the SBI to look into irregularities in case dispositions that were brought to our attention on Monday," Robb said.
"Case dispositions" are case outcomes, such as verdicts, pleas, settlements or dismissals.
Early Friday morning, Greenville Police spokesperson Kristen Hunter released a statement that said their department did not initiate the investigation. "It is part of our job to routinely inquire about the status of pending cases. One such inquiry led to an internal investigation by the Pitt County District Attorney's Office."
Jennifer Canada of the SBI confirmed that Robb had requested the SBI to investigate Faris "based on allegations that he failed to discharge duties of his office." But no other details on the allegations have been released.
It's unclear whether Dixon resigned or was fired from the District Attorney's Office.
NewsChannel 12 has attempted to contact Dixon, but have not heard back from him. He did release the following statement:
"I wish to express my deepest thanks and appreciation to the people of Pitt County. I have practiced law for 22 years and worked in the District Attorney's Office for more than 13 years. That dedication was rewarded last week with a great victory.
"I am gratified that my peers recognize my dedication and earnest desire to be fair and impartial in the latest judicial rankings. According to the information provided on the judicial survey, on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the greatest, I was the only candidate that scored 4 or above in all categories including integrity. In addition to this ranking, my peers ranked me the highest in the 2012 Judicial Rankings.
"I will in no way allow this to interfere with my campaign for District Court Judge. I will continue to seek to serve the people of Pitt County and will rely on all citizens to continue to support the campaign. We will move forward. Additional information will be forthcoming."
Dixon will face Judge Lee Teague on election day in November.