Dominic Franks: Why not let the Jury Decide?
The former Deputy Sheriff Dominic Franks complaints about the Beaufort County Sheriff's Department have been out there for almost three years. Franks father, Petre Franks, Dominic's father, ran for sheriff against Ernie Coleman as a result of his son's complaints.
Dominic Franks has filed charges claiming various forms of racial distress and gun pointing during his employment by Beaufort County. The EEOC has supported Franks with a letter of approval for him to bring charges against Ernie Coleman, Kelly Cox, Charlie Rose, William Ragland and ten John Doe defendants in their individual capacity. This suit is not against the official Beaufort County Sheriff's Department or Beaufort County. The Beaufort County insurance provider is defending these individuals because these alleged incidents took place during the time of employment with Beaufort County of all these individuals.
Filing suit against these parties individually means that a court could decide they are individually responsible, if convicted, and therefore are responsible to personally pay damages or receive other punitive punishment rather than Beaufort County or the County's insurance carrier. Such a decision is a stretch.
As is typical in any lawsuit involving personalities, both parties are trying to make their opponent look as bad as possible. In the case of Franks, he has to prove his allegations in a court of law, with truthful and factual evidence. Most people do not go to the trouble of making allegations against others without having a strong case to begin with. Attorneys are somewhat at risk not o to file law suits without good cause. They can be sanctioned for filing frivilious law suits.
Franks has some evidence supporting his claims. There is a cell phone video that is available on the internet, so we are told.
On July 30, 2019 the Sheriff, and his employee defendants filed an answer to Franks complaint with the Eastern District of the Federal Court in Greenville. Apparently, seeking a summary judgment, the answer made a wide range of disparaging accusations against Franks. The Sheriff alleges that Franks is "unstable, aggressive, and (has) un professional behavior". The answer accuses him of "criminal behavior", says there was no gun ever was pointed at Franks, and accuses Franks of impersonating a Federal Officer. There is a lot more than this, but you get the drift.
We must keep in mind that none of this is proven anywhere, and certainly not in a court of law. Remember, Coleman and his crew have to prove their allegations just like Franks has to prove his. It is alright for parties to battle these things out in court with evidence and proof being presented with the court ruling on who has a case and who does not have a case.
Here is the bad part. Washington, DC dirty tactics came into play in Washington, NC. An article appeared on the front page of one of last week's Washington Daily News papers, which summarized the Sheriffs answer to Franks complaint. The article brought all the dirty laundry in the Sheriffs answer, and never said there are unproven allegations. The Washington Daily News owes Franks an apology, and should clarify that the article is based on unproven claims made by the Sheriff.
Franks deserves a fair and unbiased trial and not a trial in the newspaper. It is acceptable to print allegation made in writing in court documents, but it is unfair to imply that it is ture just because someone wrote it
it is true. During the past few years most of the so called legitimate press has lost sight of their duty to be fair and impartial.
This paper freely admits that we are conservative and present a conservative viewpoint. We make great efforts to not convert gossip into truth.