Back to Top


This is the seventh in the series of candidates comparison. I am highlighting the issues and which of your candidates have comments on or made a plan to address. A reminder that these were researched only using the campaign Facebook pages. Because it appears there were a couple who misunderstood the below listings, I will now ensure all candidates are listed. If they did not comment on it I will indicate that next to their name.
You should take note that I am the only candidate that has even addressed this issue. That in and of itself tells you what you need to know.
Election Issue: Corruption
Candidate: Cook
Date/General idea of posting
01/20/22: Asked for definition of corruption.
01/19/22: Vowed not to tolerate racial profiling or activity quotas.
01/15/22: Will not accept any corruption.
Will not have supervisor who looked the other way on corruption.
Will hold deputies responsible
01/10/22: Will not accept any corruption.
01/13/22: I will follow all written policies/procedures.
I will ensure Agency also follows all written policies/procedures.
It will reduce the potential for liability for Macon County Citizens.
01/04/22: I will not tolerate corruption.
I will not accept anyone condoning the same.
12/29/21: Not firing anyone except for corruption.
Deputy jobs are safe.
01/18/21: Received one of two anonymous letters alleging corruption. (Browning also received one.)
10/12/21: Questioned on my view of “yield to the shield”
Answer: Slippery slope. Depends.
Will strongly discourage frequenting establishments owned by known criminals.
Could potentially compromise Deputies.
06/28/21: Question: Have you worked with bad cops?
Answer: Yes and listed experience.
In reference to corruption in Macon County:
Felonies will be referred to SBI or federal authorities.
No place in MCSO for corruption.
Citizens Perception.
Internal process.
Equal treatment for all.
Corruption allegations will be fully investigation.
02/01/22 Following Rules and Regulations?
Yes. Will hold leadership responsible for this.
Election Issue: Corruption
Candidate: Jones
Date/General idea of posting
No comments on this issue.
Election Issue: Corruption
Candidate: Bryson
Date/General idea of posting
No comments on this issue.
Election Issue: Corruption
Candidate: Holbrooks
Date/General idea of posting
No comments on this issue.
Election Issue: Corruption
Candidate: Browning
Date/General idea of post
No comments on this issue.


I have commented a number of times that I will not tolerate any corruption in my administration. Once there is corruption, it is a cancer that eats at the moral fabric of the agency. It undermines the good all Law Enforcement Officers do on a daily basis.
If I am faced with violations of law by any member of my Sheriff’s Office, an investigation will be commenced immediately. If it is of a minor nature, a member of my leadership team will handle the issue in accordance with our internal affairs policies. If the violation is of a more serious nature, such as a felony, a member of my leadership team will handle the issue in accordance with our internal affairs policies.
Willful violations of criminal law will usually result in termination. I view violations of policy and procedures as an administrative matter that can be rectified by training and other less severe measures.
If I am faced with an incident where there is serious bodily injury or death of a citizen or deputy, I will immediately secure the scene and ask for the appropriate agency to respond (either SBI or FBI). The investigation will then be turned over to them.
Any Deputy who is under active investigation will be removed from all duties and placed at a desk in our headquarters. He will be assigned duties accordingly. There are rare instances where he will be placed on unpaid leave. Any Deputy under investigation will be afforded all the due processes that any other citizen in our country enjoys before any action to discipline is taken.
My goal is to be completely transparent. I feel that if these steps were not immediately undertaken it would present the image of an agency that is trying to hide something.
One thing I will not entertain is the antiquated notion that we as law enforcement officers remain silent in the face of apparent violations of laws or policies and procedures. In my opinion, if we as leaders chastised those making reports or tolerate the violations in the name of some other altruistic reason; we will then be part of the reason there are the violations of law and policies. I will never criticize a member of my agency for doing the right thing and displaying the integrity to keep our agency clear of the image of impropriety.
I will always handle violations as I see them occur. That is how someone who is leadership tested and experience proven deals with the most precious of things the citizens bestow upon us in Law Enforcement. That is their trust.
Tomorrow I will continue with my series that compare specific issues and the candidates that have responded to them.
See Insights


As your Sheriff, I will not tolerate racial profiling or mandated activity quotas such as stopping five cars a day. This type of activity forces the federal government to step in and mandate excessive record keeping, costing the taxpayers valuable tax money. Additionally it undermines the public confidence in law enforcement making our jobs even more difficult. We must treat everyone the same regardless of what demographic they fall into.


The reason an organization has written policies and procedures is not to be able to use them against it’s employees, but to protect the organization from liability. Many lawsuits go nowhere if an organization has proper training and policies. But let something happen that is not covered and see how much it costs us all! (I.e. a questionable shooting or a preventable death)
Is it unreasonable to expect your next Sheriff to follow his own written procedures and policies? I will ensure we have proper written guidelines. I will ensure they are followed to protect you, the taxpayers of Macon County. That is what being leadership tested and experience proven can do for you!


I would like to tell you something about myself. I try to trust everyone, until they prove they can’t be trusted. I will entrust them with my confidence until such a time I can’t. I would caution anyone that confuses my kindness with weakness.
When I had applied to move over to DEA as a task force officer, the supervisor asked my Lieutenant a question. That question was “if I was a bad guy, who should I be concerned with, Cook or the other applicant?” I was told the answer was quickly the name “Cook.” You see, once I start to investigate something, it is rare that I fail to get my bad guy. That also goes for “friends.” If I get word they are doing something wrong, I will investigate that until I have significant proof of guilt or innocence. One thing that makes me lose sleep is having to prove a friend as doing something wrong. But I get over it. Corruption is something I will not tolerate. Condoning corruption is the same in my mind as those who are doing the corruption.
Here is one of my cases. He was such a good friend that at one time I had asked him to be a groomsman at my wedding.

I received another letter today from a concerned citizen. It was anonymous. I would like to assure that citizen that I am aware of this being generally done, but I appreciate the specifics as I suspected that. Rest assured this is the FIRST thing I will address once elected. If you at some point want to have a better way to contact me, please use my private message or email. I can promise your identity will remain confidential. Thank you for your trust.


When checking my mail from yesterday, I noticed an envelope that was addressed to me which is not unusual. After all, it was the mail! But it was addressed to Bob Cook which is a bit unusual. I opened it and it contained an unsigned typed letter. I would like to thank the sender as it was very informative. What I need is a bit more information, like dates, times and witnesses (if known).
I appreciate it when citizens trust me to confide in me their concerns for the direction the Macon County Sheriff’s Office. You can trust that I understand your concerns and will work hard to make the changes we all feel need to be made. That is one of the primary reasons I decided to run for Sheriff. You are not alone.


Kathy Marble Green asked on the Macon County Debates for Charity page….
“To the candidates for Sherif. What is your view on the ethics of receiving free services/gratuity as an officer. Do you believe that this will compromise your impartiality?”

Kathy, really good question. I teach Police Ethics at the Southwestern Community College/Public Safety Training Center for both the federal cadets and local cadets. In that lesson plan is a portion that addresses this very question. This is an area that is debated and discussed in every class I teach. There is something referred to as a “slippery slope.” That means when you justify something that is usually small, it becomes easier to accept something bigger. I have seen it in my career as a Police Officer with some catastrophic results.

The bottom line is “it depends.” For much of my career, no one knew I was an officer so I wasn’t the recipient of any discounts. There were occasions when the owner or manager did give discounts on a meal.
Here is the basic question that must be asked when receiving a discount or free service; “what does the person who made the offer expect in return for providing the discounts or free services?”
For example, if officers frequent a restaurant where the owner is a known criminal or a suspect in crimes, and that owner provides free or discounted meals, then there is a problem. It is conceivable that the owner will expect some return on his money if he or she is once again caught doing something wrong. In this situation, I would instruct my deputies to not accepting ANY discounts or free meals from that establishment. In fact, I will STRONGLY discourages my deputies from patronizing that establishment while on duty.

Now for the other side of the coin, as I and my wife have done on many occasions, we have paid for an officer’s meal anonymously as we paid for our bill. In this case the officer rarely knows who paid the tab and therefore can’t be expected to reciprocate.

Finally, it all depends on the perception. So, the answer is YES. Yes it could very well compromise the impartiality of the officer.


I was asked in a post last week if I “have had the unfortunate experience of dealing with bad cops”.

I have been tasked with investigating officers I’ve known in the past. I have also lost investigations because those I worked with were involved with who I was investigating. The way I see it, if you are an officer and are involved in corruption of any type, you have no place in the department and no place in law enforcement. I conducted those investigations just as I did any others I was tasked with. On occasion there was no proof and I moved on. It was difficult to get through a wire tap investigation without picking up at least one officer with whom I worked who was associating with my target. When I had the occasion where that did happen, I immediately reported it to my supervisors. They would then determine if it should be turned over to the unit that handled criminal investigations involving law enforcement within our department. In no way did they receive any protection from me. Many times the Officer that was dealing with the target had no criminal intent. Often, when an officer appears corrupt and hanging out with a criminal or one who is known to commit crimes, it is because he or she may be associating with someone they grew up with or went to school with and have known for a long time. Other times, sadly, they are involved.

Now on to the question of what would I do if I discovered corruption within the Macon County Sheriff’s Department. Depending on the offense, if it is of a serious nature such as a felony, I would contact the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation or the appropriate federal agency to conduct the investigation. This is one area that I think the mere image of impropriety can be devastating to the reputation and morale of the department. If the violation is not a felony, I would direct my staff to conduct an investigation and if borne out to be true, the appropriate level of discipline would be the result. I will review each and every investigation into corruption within my department to ensure it’s thoroughness. There will be no place in my organization for any type of corruption. We must have the trust of those we serve. Completed investigations involving criminal behavior will be turned over to the District Attorney for possible charges.

I have been told on more than one occasion by a citizen of this county that they are tired of law enforcement getting away with things that they themselves can’t do without penalty. As Police Officers, we are held to a much higher standard. There are always mistakes that will be made. I can deal with that and violations of policy will be dealt with in accordance with those policies and personnel rules. But, deliberately violating the law and policies, will not be tolerated and handled accordingly. We cannot afford even the image of impropriety!

One thing I must make clear though is any Officer accused of wrongdoing will get an absolutely fair investigation and responses to complaints will NOT be dealt with in ways just to placate the complainant. The Deputies have the same rights as any other citizen. I cannot and will not be bullied into making a decision without a full investigation! I owe that to each and every Deputy working for that department. Additionally, I will not be making comments on the merits of any case until the investigation is completed. The citizens of Macon County deserve that. It is the only way to ensure a fair process for all involved.

One of the other things that seems to be a common perception is how some people can get away with violations while others cannot. The common complaint is that it appears that one person avoids being cited or arrested, while others suffer the consequences. (Remember what I said about image of impropriety?). We can not tolerate that. I can assure everyone that if they break the law, they will be treated equally in accordance with the law. Everyone gets equal treatment regardless of who they are. I have arrested people I’ve known in the past, one who was a very good friend and an ex-officer I worked closely with. I have also arrested informants I was using because they violated the law once again while I was utilizing them. Hopefully the arrest of someone cooperating with authorities will not jeopardize an ongoing case but if it does, we will have to find another way to prove it. That is where my Detective’s investigative skills will shine as they find another way to prove the case. I have been there and done that. That is where I differ from my opponents. I know it can be done because I have done it.

If I am presented with a complaint of corruption, it will be fully investigated and a report of the results will be released in accordance with the laws governing internal investigations. I have seen and lived through the devastation that can be caused by corrupt Officers. It takes years to get past the damage even from the cases that are handled appropriately.

As I have not been able to review the department policies and procedures, I can only assume there are policies on how to handle citizen complaints. These will be reviewed, updated and strengthened to ensure that each complaint is properly handled. The complainant will always receive a report from me that lets them know whether the complaint was sustained or not. This is how we build trust.

This is a tough issue that always evokes strong emotions. Transparency is one of my key issues and I will be transparent. The citizens of Macon County demand it and if we are to have their trust, they will get it.



Paid for by the Bob Cook for Sheriff Committee
Powered by - Political Campaign Websites
Close Menu