Norwood planning, zoning officer arrested for stalking, littering

Published 3:29 pm Tuesday, July 9, 2024

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A training session at Norwood Town Hall Monday night resulted in the arrest of the town’s planning and zoning officer.

Michael Sandy, who spent nearly 20 years as the planning and zoning director for Stanly County, has served for many years in the same capacity with several Stanly municipalities, including contract work for Red Cross and Norwood.

Michael Sandy

Sandy was arrested without incident Monday night before a training session for the members of the town’s planning and zoning board. The meeting had not yet started and took place after Sandy’s arrest.

According to the arrest warrant, Sandy was charged with misdemeanor stalking and seven misdemeanor counts of littering not greater than 15 pounds.

The allegations in the warrant state Sandy harassed Red Cross Town Council member Andrew Smith by throwing trash in his yard “over 26 times in the past year.”

“We would just like for it to stop. We have no ill will toward Mr. Sandy and wish him all the best. We are hopeful that this can be the end of it and everyone can move on,” Smith said.
Sandy was released on $2,000 bond and has a court date for July 22.
“This is a blatant attempt by a town official to again slander my name to deflect from the upcoming court case against the town and several officials in August,” Sandy said. “I have not been to my knowledge within 100 feet of Mr. Smith in the last 300 days. I have not sent him any communications.”
On May 6, Sandy filed suit against the Town of Red Cross and council members Andrew Smith, Lisa Lowder and Melvin Poole accusing the defendants of libel and slander, seeking damages in excess of $200,000.
The suit alleges Smith made several spoken statements during a public meeting around Aug. 29, 2023, that Sandy “had been bribed by a private developer, Joseph Burleson and/or Burleson Development Group LLC.”

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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