Steve Adams for Moore County Sheriff in 2018


"I will reduce crime in Moore County for the first time in decades through new leadership, effective use of current resources, and innovative new policies. We will no longer need to build higher crime rates into our lives and infrastructure. I will also make the Sheriff's Department free to the taxpayer, pay off the mortgage on the detention center and net a $22 million yearly surplus with current assets and resources." “Moore County’s crime rate will come down under my leadership. I will get Law Enforcement off the backs of the taxpayer and on the backs of the criminals.”

This Website is a work in progress. Please keep checking back for updates and new content.

(This website is not a declaration of a candidacy)

I am Steve Leader Adams, and it is my intention to run for Sheriff of Moore County in 2018. Law enforcement and crime in Moore County is out of control and our Sheriff is determined to continue the practices of the past, that have proven ineffective, and have led to the current chaos in our war against crime. If you will give me the time needed to read this website, you will understand my specific solutions, that will actually bring the crime rate down, while creating a $22million surplus, and making the Sheriff's Department FREE to the taxpayer. Under my plan, the $13.5 million allocated for the Sheriff's Department can be transferred to new schools and other amenities for the county, or be used to lower our tax rate.The solution to our crime problems, while complex, is not rocket science. Our Sheriff, along with many other sheriffs, police chiefs, and Justice Department officials, simply cannot see the forest for the trees. On this website, I am going to show you the problem as it is today, and then offers specific solutions to fix the problem. The key to my solutions is management. Our Sheriff is not equipped with the management skills needed to identify the problems and execute solutions. A simple comparison would be the airline industry. Airlines do not hire pilots to run the corporations, for the simple reason that they are pilots and not managers. Ironically, the CEOs of the major airlines in this country, do not know how to fly the very planes they manage, yet millions of passengers trust them every day to get them safely to their destinations. Managers have the unique abilities to absorb complex goals, and create plans to achieve those goals. Managers know how to build a staff, develop them into cohesive teams, and add insight and expertise to achieve and accomplish the goals set forth.

The job of Sheriff is primarily that of a manager. He manages the assets, personnel, and resources of the Sheriff Department, and our Sheriff's career reinforces that point. When you think about it, our Sheriff has very little to do with actual hands on law enforcement. Let's do a little quick comparison. The Sheriff graduated from Wake Forest University with a BS Degree in Chemistry. He began his career in a chemistry lab at the State Bureau of Investigation. After a while he was promoted to district manager. Shortly after leaving the SBI, he took the job as chief deputy at the Moore County Sheriff's Department. As chief deputy his responsibilities were to manage the deputies of the department. I, on the other hand, graduated from North Carolina State University with a BA Degree in Business Management. During my career I managed three of North Carolina's largest privately held corporations, including my own construction company which I built into North Carolina's largest privately held homebuilding corporation, by building over 2000 homes in the Raleigh area. The Sheriff and I have worn the Moore County deputies uniform exactly the same number of days, which is zero. We have arrested exactly the same number of individuals, which is zero. Our Sheriff proves every day by his actions that the office of Sheriff is a management position. Where we differ greatly is our backgrounds as managers. The Sheriff's experience as a manager comes through the ranks of the vast unaccountable government bureaucracy, lacking a track record, and always feeding from the public trough. He also consistently makes numerous incompetent decisions. That's why we have spent over $200 million in Moore County during our Sheriff's career at the Moore County Sheriff's office, only to see crime statistics rise while eroding away our moral base. My management experience comes from the private sector, where every dollar has to be managed properly in order to survive in business .I come from a world outside of politics, where track records and accomplishments count... words don't. The question is, who do you want managing your $13 million dollar per year, Moore County Sheriff's Department budget? A government bureaucrat who has never had to worry about the bottom line, or a professional business manager who has to meet the needs of the public in order to survive in the business world.

Chapter 1:The Big Lie

The main problem with our Sheriff’s Department is the Sheriff himself. He will not tell you the truth about the true facts concerning the increase in crime in Moore County. If you cannot state the facts truthfully, you cannot come up with solutions. He also displays some of the poorest judgment (see Chapter 4: Poor Judgement) that I have ever witnessed as a manager.

First, let’s talk about the actual condition Moore County is in when it comes to crime. Our Sheriff claims crime has declined 22% since he joined the sheriff department 11 years ago as a chief deputy. That is just one of his many lies. He bases this claim on an SBI report that promotes the deception of the real crime figures. What the Sheriff, and the report does not tell you, is that the report only covers 1.5% of all the reported crime, and that the “books are cooked.” Every time a crime is reported it’s classified as either a “Type 1” or a “Type 2” crime. “Type 1”crimes constitute only 1.5% of all the crimes committed, yet they are the only crimes that they release statistics on. There are only 7 “Type 1”crimes, which are murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and stolen vehicles. All the other 100,000+ crimes, which constitute 98.5% of all crimes, are “Type 2” crimes. 90% of all crimes are caused by drug crimes, which are a “Type 2” crime. There are no statistics available for “Type 2” crimes. So, if larcenies (a “Type 1”crime) are trending upwards, all they do is reclassify some of the cases as stolen property (a “Type 2”crime). Likewise, if burglaries (a “Type 1”crime) are too high, they reclassify some of them as breaking and entering (a “Type 2”crime).That is how they cook the books in order to falsely claim a drop in crime.

To put it in perspective as far as Moore County is concerned, there were approximately 2200 “Type 1” crimes in Moore County in 2013. The majority of those “Type 1” crimes were for burglary and larceny. On the other hand, there were over 150,000 “Type 2” crimes reported in Moore County in 2013.

The SBI crime report is generated annually by the North Carolina Department of Justice. If you look at the overall report, county by county, you'll notice that each county, on average, has a miraculous drop in crime each year of about 2%. The state as a whole, miraculously has a steady drop in overall crime (remember we are only talking about "Type 1" crimes) year after year. If this were true, we would be downsizing detention centers and prisons, not building new ones. Yet, we continue to build more and more jail cells into our detention centers, as well as more prisons and court rooms. Our Attorney General is not going to let a crime report show an increase in crime for the State of North Carolina. That would be bad for economic growth and for the Attorney General's political future. This is why the books are cooked, to ensure the outcome.

Here is the sad irony concerning “Type 1”crimes. 90% of the “Type 1”crimes are never solved, but since they miraculously dropped 2% each year, our Sheriff pounds his chest and promotes the idea that crime has come down because of his leadership. To promote such nonsense as fact, gives citizens a false sense of security that does not exist, plus it is just an outright lie.

Chapter 2: The Taj Mahal

Our Sheriff claims crime has declined 22% since he joined the sheriff department 11 years ago as a chief deputy, but his actions do not match his rhetoric. If that were the case, we would need fewer jail cells. Instead, our sheriff convinced the Moore County Board of Commissioners to spend $42 million on a brand-new detention center. Money that should have gone towards school construction instead. Our sheriff sat on the committee that oversaw the design and construction of the Rick Rhyne Detention Center (aka The Taj Mahal). It is also under our sheriff's "leadership," that this very detention center has failed every single State inspection as a detention center.

Let's take a moment and review how the Rick Rhyne Detention Center became a $42 million reality, and exactly what is in the building. While our Sheriff was miraculously "bringing crime down 22%," the jail capacity in the old detention center was maxing out. The county had to find a way to either expand the old detention center or reduced demand on the facility. Since neither of those options were a viable solution to our Sheriff, it was concluded the only solution was a new detention center. While the county was in the mood to build a new detention center, it was also decided that the new center should house a new Sheriff's office.

I'll be the first to admit, the old Sheriff's office of 7000 ft.² (which was in the basement of the current courthouse) was too small for the 76 deputies that were using it. But, I'll also be the first to admit, that our Sheriff raped Moore County by drastically over designing and overbuilding the new detention center. Our Sheriff cannot escape the liability of his extravagance, because he sat on the very committee that looked after the design and construction of the detention facility. He even traveled around the country visiting other detention centers to get "new ideas." I'll admit it's a beautiful facility, but it is way over built and a perfect example of the unconscionable waste a government bureaucrat, like our Sheriff, displays when he's put in charge without the proper management skills to guide his judgment calls. This detention center is just one of many poor judgment calls made by this Sheriff.

Before the decision was made to begin construction of the facility, the Sheriff was asked directly by the Moore County Board of Commissioners "can you (the Sheriff) operate this facility with the same amount of employees?" He pointed out, because of the "stacked construction" of the jail facility, he could operate the facility with no additional staff. Again, the Sheriff lied. This is a lie that he continues to try to work out of to this very day. This is the very lie that has caused him to flunk every State inspection of the jail facility. He has flunked every State inspection because his staff to prisoner ratio is too low. He has wasted money and compromised safety, by pulling patrol deputies away from their normal duties and putting them in the detention center to drive up his staff to prisoner ratio, thus leaving the citizens in a less protected state. As soon as the election of 2014 was over, our Sheriff requested the money needed to hire 14 new detention center employees (almost $1 million in salaries and benefits) from the Moore County Board of Commissioners. The Commissioners initially gave the Sheriff a budget increase of $500,000, which the Sheriff used to hire seven more detention center employees. Still, the Sheriff's detention center flunked the State inspection. Now the commissioners have given the Sheriff yet another $500,000 of your hard-earned tax money to hire seven more employees. It remains to be seen if he can pass a State of North Carolina inspection.

The Sheriff also uses employment at the detention center as favors to connected people. Case in point, the Sheriff's Chief Deputy was cohabitating with his fiancée. The Chief Deputy's future father-in-law was unhappy with that living arrangement. All of a sudden, the future father-in-law, who was a satellite installer for DirecTV, gets hired as an employee at the detention center.

Today, the detention center is a reality. The ship has sailed, so to speak, but it speaks volumes about the Sheriff's poor judgment, and poor stewardship of the taxpayer's money. When the taxpayers looked to the Sheriff to decide what was needed in a new detention center, and offered up a blank check, the Sheriff's true selfishness and extravagance emerged.

Let's take a look at all the waste the Sheriff put in this detention center. First, there is the Sheriff's office space itself. Imagine looking at a football field. As I previously stated, the Sheriff had 7000 ft.² of office space in the basement of the current courthouse for 76 deputies. That would be an area from the end of the end zone out to the 25 yard line. The Sheriff and his 76 deputies now have an office space of 35,000 ft.². That's the size of the whole football field including both ends zones. He was asked to share some of this massive square footage with the District Attorney's Office in order to save the taxpayers some money. He refused that idea, so new space, outside the detention center, had to be renovated for the District Attorney's needs at an additional cost to the taxpayer.

Of course our Sheriff could not use any pre-existing furniture in the new detention center. Our government bureaucrat would have none of that. That is why our Sheriff spent tens of thousands of dollars of hard-earned taxpayers money furnishing his new 35,000 ft.² office space with new furniture.

A ridiculous size office is just the start of the extravagance our Sheriff designed into the detention center. He also designed probably the largest magistrates office in the state of North Carolina. For two magistrates, he put in 5000 ft.² of office space. Do you realize how big that is for two people? That is the size of two large homes in Pinehurst. He also put in a private gymnasium. Although the concept is good, the reality of a private gym is just more poor judgment on the part of our Sheriff. Many sheriff and police facilities across the state have a private gymnasium, but most of them sit empty the majority of the time. Less than 5% of law enforcement employees do a state certified workout each week. It would have been much better judgment to offer employees of the Sheriff's Department, memberships to private gyms in the area, provided they would meet state standards of the certified workout. This would put deputies in the community during their workout time, interacting and building the community to them.

One of the most ridiculous things that you will find in the detention center are 2 brand new courtrooms. This turned out to be a complete waste of space and taxpayer money. As our Sheriff found out, judges do not come to the jail to hold court, prisoners come to the courthouse to face the judge. A simple review of the plans by a judge, prior to construction, would have caught this costly mistake, but once again our Sheriff failed to use good judgment when designing this facility.

Chapter 5 of this website deals extensively with the Sheriff's poor judgment calls, however, this detention center is just another example of one poor judgment decision after another on the part of our Sheriff. Keep in mind, our Constitution guarantees us the fact that we are presumed innocent until proven guilty, yet prisoners who are charged with a felony are kept on lockdown 23 hours of every day. Despite constitutional guarantees, our Sheriff extorts prisoners every chance he gets by using the position that prisoners are in to extract as much money from them, and their families as he possibly can. Unfortunately, those that are in a position to be the most financially stressed, are the very individuals our Sheriff comes after the hardest for money. Face-to-face visitations are a thing of the past. The sheriff will not allow them for "security reasons." If a loved one wants to meet with an inmate, they have to book an appointment online at a cost of $25 for a 10 minute electronic video visitation. Remember, if a family could afforded to bail their loved one out, they would have done so. The family members that come to visit inmates, are the least financially able to afford the electronic video visit. Charging the public for video visitation cuts down on the number of visits, as well as the morale of the inmate (remember they are presumed innocent). Low morale leads to hostilities and fights among the inmates, which leads to higher medical costs and repairs to the facility. I would argue that charging for video visitations loses money for the county and makes the detention center a much more dangerous place for inmates and staff. This is just the beginning of the extortion practices of our Sheriff.

In the detention center, our Sheriff expressed more poor judgment by having a convenience store built within the jailhouse area of the facility. Federal statutes require that each prisoner be given one commissary item per day. Our Sheriff took that mandate and used it to justify the existence of the Commissary. He said "I think the prisoners ought to pay for their own commissary items instead of the taxpayer." This is the thinking of a shallow thinking manager. Despite his intentions, the existence of the Commissary breeds illegal activities, gang formations, increases the danger to staff, and ultimately cost the taxpayer much more money than it brings in. It would have been much wiser, safer, and cheaper to just provide each prisoner with one commissary item at dinner, for consumption with their dinner. Any unconsumed items would be retrieved after the dinner.

Here is the main reason why the Commissary is such a poor judgment call. Let's suppose a new prisoner, we'll call him Bob, is booked into the detention center. Before Bob can buy anything from the Commissary, he must first get his family to put money on the "books." Bob's family will have to make a trip to the detention center and leave cash money on the Commissary books so that Bob can purchase items from the Commissary. Now Bob can go to the Commissary and buy junk food like sodas, potato chips, cookies, and pastries. This junk food becomes the "jailhouse cash." Bob can now use his "jailhouse cash" to purchase other services found in your typical detention center, like jailhouse tattoos, sports betting, and even sexual favors. But the first time Bob uses the commissary, he will be followed back to his jail cell by one or two individuals who are bigger and tougher than Bob. They will inform Bob that his commissary items now belong to them. At that moment, Bob will have a decision to make. Bob will have to decide whether to just surrender the commissary items (which you just cannot do in jail) or try to get the first swing in before he receives a bad beating and then has all his commissary items stolen. Bob will choose the latter. The only question after that is whether or not Bob ends up in the hospital at the taxpayers' expense. At that point, Bob will have to make another decision, whether to do without commissary items, or join a gang for protection. Again, Bob will choose the latter, and will now have to get his family to add money to his commissary books in order to pay for the protection of the gang.

The Sheriff also extorts money from the prisoners with the TV lounge. When the detention center first opened, prisoners could go to the TV lounge and watch TV. Then the Sheriff, along with the company operating the Commissary, figured a way to extort even more money from the prisoners desire to use the TV lounge. They decided to cut the TV sound off and require prisoners to buy receivers in order to hear the TV sound. In addition to that, prisoners would have to buy batteries to run their receivers and only short lasting batteries would be offered at exorbitant prices. All this practice does is demoralize the prisoners further, and literally takes food off the table of those prisoners families who can least afford it. It also further intensifies the tension within the jail, making it less safe for staff and inmates.

The good old boys network style of management is heavily entrenched in the Sheriff's Department, and that includes the detention center. The good old boys networks never works except for the good old boys. The rest of the staff are given dead-end jobs, with no hope for advancement or a career. This leads to a high turnover rate within the Sheriff's Department. The detention center is no exception. The turnover rate is extremely high because of poor policy procedures and a lack of leadership on the part of our Sheriff. The policy within the detention center calls for the staff to rotate from position to position over the course of a shift. This is to keep boredom to a minimum, and safety at a maximum, plus it keeps everyone's skill levels at all positions at a peak. However, the good old boys network keeps the good old boys doing all the more desirable jobs and not rotating as policy dictates.

The Sheriff's hiring policies shows obvious signs of discrimination at the detention center. There are currently 62 detention center employees, of which only five are minorities. The jail population ranges between 50% and 80% minorities. These hiring practices are just more evidence of the Sheriffs poor judgment. This is an obvious sign that somewhere within the Sheriffs organization, the tail is wagging the dog.






Steve's speech at Hailies Chapel