CHERRYVILLE, N.C. -- The last Cherryville Police Officer caught up in a corruption scandal pleaded guilty on Thursday morning.
Frankie Dellinger was a reserve Cherryville Officer. He’s now facing 65 years in prison and fines in excess of 1.2 million dollars if he is given the maximum sentence.
“He’s just glad to try and get this behind him and get on with his life,” said Defense Attorney Lenny Kornberg.
Gaston County District Attorney Locke Bell is not at the center of the scandal, but he is tied to Dellinger.
A Federal Affidavit says that back in 2007 Dellinger was driving around with stolen tires on his truck. A fellow officer reported it.
But Bell dropped the charges, NBC Charlotte asked him why and he told us that Goodyear didn’t want to prosecute.
"We were not investigating the officer; we knew he had received tires. He said he paid for them we knew 5 or 6 tire dealerships that had also bought these tires so we had no evidence that any of these people knew they were stolen until 3 or 4 years later when the feds arrested the officer," said Bell.
That affidavit also blasts the Chief and Assistant Chief of the Department; suggesting they looked the other way and squashed information that should have made its way to the District Attorney for criminal prosecution.
Bell says he’s not worried about the tire incident affecting public confidence in his office.
“Not at all because I started the investigation when I found out there was wrongdoing in Cherryville, I’m the one who called the S.B.I.” he said.