New city hire faced allegations in Sharpsburg

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Elton Daniels


Staff Writer

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Rocky Mount's incoming parks director ran afoul of the State Highway Patrol for driving a police vehicle when he was town manager in Sharpsburg.

Elton Daniels was charged in 2012 by state troopers with having a police blue light. A trooper stopped Daniels in an unmarked Dodge Charger about a mile outside of Sharpsburg on U.S. 301, according to the Wilson Times.

Even though the charge was dismissed, Daniels' use of the vehicle was a violation of public trust, according to former Sharpsburg Mayor Randy Weaver, a concerned citizen in 2012. He told the Wilson Times back then that he was worried about how the case could affect the town’s ability to secure grant funds for police vehicles in the future.

The unmarked car Daniels was driving when he was stopped by authorities had been purchased using matching grant funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Sharpsburg Town Board had been allowing Daniels to use the cruiser because it was cheaper than reimbursing Daniels for mileage in his own vehicle.

Daniels was on town business during business hours when he was stopped — however, North Carolina law states it's a violation for anyone other than a law enforcement officer to have possession of a blue light.

"It is unlawful for any person to possess a blue light or to install, activate or operate a blue light in or on any vehicle in this state, except for a publicly owned vehicle used for law enforcement purposes or any other vehicle when used by law enforcement officers in the performance of their official duties," according N.C. General Statute 20-130.

A month prior to Daniels being cited for driving the unmarked car, he was charged with reckless driving in Pender County.

At 1:30 a.m. April 6, 2012, Daniels was driving a white 2008 BMW on Interstate 40 near Burgaw when a state trooper stopped him. Daniels was clocked at 90 mph in a 70 mph zone while it was raining. Daniels told the trooper, “I’m in a hurry to get home,” according to an archived report on the DCN News Blog.

Daniels pleaded guilty to speeding and the reckless driving charge was dismissed.

Daniels has been hired by Rocky Mount City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney with annual annual salary of $130,000.

Daniels is currently the town manager for Selma where he earns $96,000 annually. He is leaving there Feb. 12 to start his job Feb. 18 in Rocky Mount.

Daniels was offered the new job Jan. 7. On Jan. 8 he told the Selma Town Council that he was leaving for a position in which he could spend more time with his family and help them recover from Hurricane Florence, according to the Johnstonian.

Small-Toney told the Telegram recently that she's friends with Daniels.

Daniels has been the Selma town manager since August 2017. He serves on the Board of Directors for the N.C. City/County Managers Association. Tenet 4 of the association's code of ethics calls for a manager to remain in place for two years in order to render professional service to a local government.

Prior to the Selma job, Daniels had been assistant county manager for Franklin County since 2014.

Daniels has a master’s degree in public administration from UNC-Wilmington and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Furman University in Greenville, S.C.

Phone messages seeking comment for this story left at Daniels’ Selma office were not returned by presstime.