Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers dropped in on the Summerfield Town Council on Tuesday, March 12 – the Town Council that the wife of former Sheriff BJ Barnes sits on – and dropped a bomb. Rogers told the Town Council that, when he came in to assume the role of sheriff after Barnes’ defeat, he arrived to find computers removed and papers gone.
As Rogers spoke on the matter at the Summerfield Community Center, Summerfield Town Councilmember Dena Barnes sat at the dais and listened. She didn’t say anything in response to Rogers, but it’s hard to imagine that the wife of the former sheriff wasn’t thinking up a storm.
Rogers said that was a major reason his administration had a rough transition when he became sheriff.
He began by telling the Town Council and audience members at the meeting that they had no doubt heard about that transition through the media.
“Many of you read different articles throughout the different news media,” he said. “Of course, we had some transition issues.”
He said that he and his staff had to essentially start from nothing.
“We came in and didn’t have any way to start other than start from ground zero,” Rogers said. “What do I mean – ground zero? Papers were destroyed. Computers were taken out. So we had nothing; we had no information, nowhere to start.”
At no time in his address did Rogers mention BJ Barnes’ name, but the clear implication seemed to be that Barnes and/or his departing staff attempted to sabotage Roger’s transition by removing computers and destroying documents.
Rogers has claimed before that Barnes did not help at all in the transition but the new claims that computers were removed and papers destroyed ratcheted that accusation up to a new level.
At the meeting, Rogers said that, despite having basically nothing to go on when he and his new staff came in, they were able to get on track and they now have the office running well.
“The men and women that were there helped us bring the pieces together,” he said.
BJ Barnes said last year after the election that he and his officers did attempt to help Rogers with the transition, but Rogers wanted nothing to do with anything Barnes had been part of and certainly didn’t want his help.
Barnes said at that time that Rogers did not show up for a scheduled transition meeting, but Rogers denies that there ever was a meeting scheduled to begin with.
Former Guilford County Sheriff’s Department Colonel Randy Powers and other top sheriff’s staff told the Rhino Timesat that time that the department attempted to help Rogers and his new staff – for the sake of the county and its citizens – but they said that Rogers and his new staff clearly had strong ideas about what needed to be done and they didn’t want any input from Barnes’ or his top staff.
They said one clear indication of that is that Rogers conducted a wholesale firing of officers that he deemed to be loyal to Barnes.
Rogers has maintained that those firings were conducted after a thorough review of each employee and he has also pointed out that some of the fired employees were only working on a part-time, as-needed basis.
As if the whole evening weren’t awkward enough, at the end of his speech, Rogers asked to shake all of the Town Council members’ hands, and he proceeded to shake those hands, including Dena Barnes.’