A driving while impaired charge against a candidate for Wake County sheriff has been dismissed due to a lack of necessary witnesses, officials said Tuesday.
David Blackwelder, a Republican candidate for sheriff in 2022, was charged in October. Holly Springs Police arrested him on Holly Springs Road and Main Street, The News & Observer reported at the time.
“This is not an exoneration of the charges,” District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said of the dismissal. “(It is) simply an inability to move forward with the prosecution based on an absence of witness.”
Blackwelder, who had contested the charges, released a statement on social media Monday.
“While I wanted a trial, a dismissal was the ultimate outcome,” he said. “I am unable to elaborate further on the details of the case, due to an imminent federal lawsuit against Holly Springs Police Department and other conspirators.”
Blackwelder added “reforms are needed to prevent corruption, increase transparency, and ensure accountability.”
When asked Tuesday about Blackwelder’s statement, Mark Andrews, a spokesman for the town of Holly Springs, declined to comment.
“Our practice is not to comment on criminal matters, whether or not the case has been dismissed,” he said.
An outspoken critic of Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker, Blackwelder is one of the many candidates vying for his position in the 2022 election.
He previously caused controversy on social media for stating, “As a person of color, you are afforded way more opportunities than a white male … it just depends on whether you accept them,” WRAL reported last year.
In 2018, Blackwelder lost a bid for county commissioner.