NEWTON, N.C. — A superior court judge has unsealed a search warrant used by the SBI at the Catawba County Sheriff's Office last month.
The warrant shows agents came to Catawba County after sheriff candidate Jason Reid was accused of stalking an ex-girlfriend last year.
Channel 9 and other media outlets filed a motion in court to unseal the warrant after Catawba County refused to release any emails, text messages, or other communications involving the search.
Eyewitness News reporter Dave Faherty first broke the news of the search by North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation agents two weeks ago.
Channel 9 learned that Reid, who is the son of retiring current Sheriff Coy Reid, is accused of using a county tracking device from the narcotics office on the woman's car.
At the time, Reid supervised the narcotics office. The day of the search, his father and his attorney went to a superior court judge and asked to have the search warrant sealed, according to the lawsuit. Court papers indicate that hearing took place in chambers outside the public's view.
Papers also said that neither the SBI nor the district attorney asked for the search warrant to be sealed.
Court papers said, "Upon information and belief, the only justification that has been or could be made for the sealing of the search warrant, is potential damage to the reputation or candidacy of Jason Reid in the May 8 primary. Neither of these interests supports the extraordinary measure of sealing search warrants."
The warrant unsealed Friday is heavily redacted, but says agents were looking for evidence of stalking, cyberstalking, and of Reid "willfully failing to discharge the duties of his office."
It also references text messages from Reid to his ex's new boyfriend that detail locations of where he had been and a picture taken of his car while the couple ate at a restaurant.
We spoke with Reid Friday while he was out campaigning.
"My focus right now is on my family, the good Lord, and my campaign, and we're going to focus on Tuesday May the 8th, and we're going to see what the results hold Tuesday night," he said.
Reid told Channel 9 on May 1 he no longer works for the Sheriff’s Office. His father said that, on the day of the search, neither he nor his attorney asked to have the search warrant sealed.
Reid said Friday he doesn't plan on dropping out of the race "unless the good Lord takes him."
Cox Media Group