Sheriff: Hunter has reputation as dishonest cop

Published 9:48 am Thursday, May 19, 2016

By Lynn Hall

Enterprise Record

Davie County Sheriff Andy Stokes took the stand on behalf of the defense in the wrongful termination case of three Mocksville police officers in 2011 and testified that Ken Hunter had the reputation of being a “dishonest cop.”

Stokes said Hunter, who was terminated by the former Police Chief Robert Cook, was suspected of passing information to drug dealers and that he “didn’t trust him,” Stokes told the jury in the federal courthouse in Winston-Salem.

Stokes, who has been Davie County Sheriff since his election in 2006, added that  “this was Ken’s reputation as early as the 1990s.”

Under cross examination, Stokes was asked if the his opinion of Ken Hunter was based on any personal knowledge, and he said it was not.

He was asked whether he remembered Hunter going to Chief Cook in 2006 stating that someone in the Davie County Sheriff’s office was spreading rumors about him and he wanted to meet with Cook and Stokes. “Wasn’t there a meeting at the Mocksville Police Station and didn’t you tell Hunter you would get the rumors stopped?”

“I don’t recall,” Stokes replied.

The sheriff testified that he and Cook were friends and that they met for breakfast three times a week. He said he has known Cook since 1970. He said they used to hunt and fish together, but they have not done that for years.

Stokes testified that he had sworn Cook in as a reserve deputy with the DCS after he became the administrative chief of police. “This was so he would have the power to make arrests,”  Stokes said.

Cook had not completed the Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) that is now required for certification of law enforcement officers.  It was why he was hired only as an administrative chief in Mocksville.

In January of 2011 it was noted that Cook resigned from the DCS since he had not completed the BLET training as he had promised when hired as chief.

Cook had testified earlier that he knew he would not be able to pass the physical portion of that training.

Stokes testified that he had been called in the fall of 2011 about a Davie deputy stopping Cook for DWI but not arresting him. He said the reporter mentioned something about a firing over the incident, “and I knew I hadn’t fired anyone. That’s when I knew it wasn’t true.”

The defense attorney asked Stokes if he had ever heard that Cook at a problem with alcohol and he said he had not and that he’d never heard that he drank on duty. “Have you ever seen him under the influence of alcohol?” ask Phil Van Hoy.

“I have not.”

Stokes also agreed with the testimony  of other witnesses regarding money from a Davie County Law Enforcement Association fund-raiser that concerns hadn’t been about missing money, but rather if the best use had been made of those funds.

Stokes was asked if Jerry Medlin had a good reputation within the DCS and he said that he did. When asked about Rick Donathan, it was noted that Stokes, like Donathan, had also responded to a fire at a local assisted living facility in 2007 and helped save lives.

“I was there,” he said, “but I didn’t save any lives. Rick Donathan did.”