NC sheriff’s lieutenant fired amid probe into ‘improper use’ of drug money

A lieutenant with the Burke County sheriff’s drug task force has been fired amid a probe into possible improper use of seized illegal drug money, Sheriff Steve Whisenant said Monday.

Lt. Jody Price was terminated on Friday, Whisenant said in a statement on Facebook.

Whisenant said he asked the State Bureau of Investigation on Friday to look into “possible improprieties with an officer in the Burke County Narcotics Task Force regarding improper use of drug funds.”

The sheriff’s office had begun an internal investigation and contacted the SBI “when issues were discovered,” Whisenant said.

The SBI will turn over its findings to the Burke County District Attorney’s Office, according to the sheriff.

“The Burke County Sheriff’s Office core values are professionalism and integrity, and those values are shared with every new employee and continuously emphasized,” Whisenant said.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak