ONSLOW COUNTY - The Onslow County sheriff said he was told his election opponent was involved in a series of bomb threats in the county.
Sheriff candidate Hans Miller released a recording of a phone conversation he had with current Onslow County Sheriff Ed Brown. In the phone call, Sheriff Brown said he was told that Miller was connected with the numerous bomb threats against schools and businesses in Onslow County in the past few months.
Gerald Jackson, 18, a former Southwest High School student, has been charged for those threats. Investigators said Jackson was responsible for 20 bomb threats since mid-February.
During the phone call with Miller, Sheriff Brown said the teen suspect claimed Miller was involved in the threats.
"This young man has told me you're the reason for these bomb threats and the general public is going to believe that," Sheriff Brown said in the phone conversation. "I've been told that you incited it, caused the bomb threats and I don't know what to do but hand it over to the district attorney for an investigation."
But Miller denies the allegations.
"Truthfully, these allegations are not true. I don't know the [suspect]. I never put anyone up to a felony," Miller told NewsChannel 12.
In a statement released Thursday afternoon, Sheriff Brown said the following:
"I never, ever planned to do a media release about Mr. Miller being implicated in the bomb threats. And I don't plan to remark on the case at this time.
"I did make a call to Mr. Miller. A recording of that call will be sent to the District Attorney's Office as will all other recordings and all other evidence."
But in his phone conversation with Miller, Sheriff Brown did mention the media.
"What I am going to do is I'm just going to call the media in Onslow and let them listen to the man's story and let them decide if its right or not," Sheriff Brown said in the phone call.
Both Sheriff Brown and Miller said this issue is being brought up for political reasons.
"I think Ed Brown knew it was false, but he wanted to threaten me and use that against me for political gain," Miller said.
"That courtesy call, I think, is being used now for political reasons," said Sheriff Brown.
Sheriff Brown and Miller will face off in the primary on May 6. The winner will face Democrat Scott Himes in November.