02/04/14 — Pierce picked for next sheriff

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Pierce picked for next sheriff

By Steve Herring and John Joyce
Published in News on February 4, 2014 1:46 PM

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Larry Pierce appears before the Wayne County Board of Commissioners this morning. Pierce, 55, was appointed sheriff by the commissioners.

A Wayne County Republican Party executive committee voted unanimously Monday to nominate Larry Pierce, Mount Olive resident and head of Nahunta Pork Center, as the next sheriff of Wayne County.

This morning, the Wayne County Board of Commissioners also voted unanimously to appoint Pierce to the job.

Pierce, 55, will complete the unexpired term of Sheriff Carey Winders, who served in that capacity for the last 20 years. Winders was up for re-election this fall.

Winders died of a massive heart attack Jan. 24 and was laid to rest Friday in Wayne Memorial Park Cemetery.

The sheriff earned acclaim across the county, region and state for his integrity and his commitment to bridging the gap between parties to get work done in the best interest of the citizens of Wayne County.

Pierce acknowledged Winders' legacy as he accepted the post this morning.

"We have lost a friend and a veteran of law enforcement. I cannot take Carey's place, I just want to serve the people of Wayne County," Pierce said.

Pierce has been a sworn law enforcement officer since 1982, having served with the Goldsboro Police Department, the Wayne County Sheriff's Office and the State Bureau of Investigation.

Arrangements are being made today with Wayne County Resident Superior Court Judge Arnold O. Jones to conduct the official swearing in, which is tentatively scheduled for two weeks from now.

The board of commissioners asked if there are any time constraints on the process of swearing in the new sheriff.

County Attorney Borden Parker said there is no time limit.

Maj. Fane Greenfield will continue to fulfill the duties of the office of sheriff until Pierce is sworn in. Once Pierce has been sworn in, each deputy must then swear in under him.

Pierce's family will take over the reins of Nahunta Pork Center as he steps into his new role.

Wayne County Republican Party Chairman Bob Jackson said five names were floated to fill the vacant position, and any of them would have made good sheriffs. He did not identify the other potential candidates.

"I appreciate the opportunity to serve," Pierce said.