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Hatcher hearing set for Friday, commissioners hire a lawyer


     A Wilmington lawyer has been hired to represent Columbus County Commissioners in a lawsuit brought by former Sheriff Lewis Hatcher seeking to return him to his post as appeals in the November 2018 general election wind their way through the process.

     A hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled for 11 a.m. this Friday in Columbus County Superior Court, with some court observers saying Judge A. Graham Shirley could made a decision on the petition that day.

     Defendants in the lawsuit include Sheriff Jodi Greene, who was sworn into office on Dec. 3, 2018, all seven county commissioners both individually and as a board, and County Manager Mike Stephens.

     Commissioners met for about an hour behind closed doors Monday with Wilmington attorney Norwood Blanchard III before agreeing to hire him specifically in relation to the case brought by Hatcher through his lawyer, Oscar Blanks.

     Commissioners said Blanchard will represent the board and its individual members.

     For much more on this story see Wednesday’s Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.