Outside prosecutor appointed in Cabarrus Co. commissioner investigation

WBTV Investigates: Move comes as SBI continues investigating Cabarrus Co. commission chairman
(WBTV File)
Published: May. 12, 2023 at 12:05 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - An outside prosecutor has been appointed to oversee an investigation into Cabarrus County Commission Chairman Steve Morris.

District Attorney Garry Frank, the top prosecutor for Davidson and Davie counties, has been appointed by the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts to oversee the investigation being conducted by the State Bureau of Investigation.

Previous >>> Cabarrus Co. commission chair under investigation by SBI

WBTV was first to report the investigation in early May after the SBI confirmed it had been investigating since January 2023.

No criminal charges have been filed against Morris and the investigation is ongoing, WBTV is told.

The investigation was prompted by a complaint from Richard Wise, a councilman for the Town of Midland.

(You can watch WBTV’s previous reporting on this investigation here, the story continues below the video)

The Chairman of the Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners, Steve Morris, is under investigation by the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation.

RELATED >>> Investigation into Cabarrus Co. commissioner prompted by local councilman

News that Frank had been appointed to handle the matter came from Cabarrus County District Attorney Ashlie Shanley, who said she requested an outside prosecutor oversee the investigation

“After speaking with the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) regarding Richard Wise’s allegations against a Cabarrus County Commissioner, the Cabarrus District Attorney’s Office followed policy and conducted a conflict of interest analysis to determine if a legal conflict would bar this office from proceeding,” Shanley wrote in a press release.

In her statement, Shanley said there are no legal requirements for her to bring in outside assistance but she believes it is the right move since county commissioners are “on both sides of this matter.”