Gov. McCrory announces his nomination for next SBI director

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SBI director nominee Robert Schurmeier (WTVD)

Gov. Pat McCrory announced his nomination for the next director of the State Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday.

The news came after the governor's office announced McCrory would make a special announcement less than 24 hours after he said he would seek changes to the controversial House Bill 2.

RELATED: Gov. McCrory will seek change to HB2

McCrory nominated Robert (Bob) Schurmeier, the president of a private security firm called U.S. ISS Agency. He also spent nearly three decades as a member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

The former led to a close working relationship with McCrory, who was a then-Charlotte city councilman.

"I used to ride with the police at least once a month, and Bob would show me everything," the governor said. "He'd show me the toughest parts of policing, the toughest part of crime and victims."

McCrory applauded the selection of Schurmeier Tuesday by a nominating committee that included Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison.

"He's worked in a large city," Harrison said. "He's done a little bit of everything, when you look at his resume, and he's still got that burning desire to be in law enforcement."

Sheriff Harrison also said one of the first big jobs waiting for the incoming SBI head would be bringing ALE and the SBI closer together.

"When that merger came about I think, being two separate agencies for so long, they didn't feel comfortable working together," he said.

"I worked with them, but I was an outside law enforcement partner working with them," Schurmeier said. "So coming to understand that, and then working on the things where they need to improve. Sometimes when you get in a profession, it never leaves you and this has never left me."

The legislature must confirm Schurmeier before he gets the job.

"It's a challenge, it's the opportunity at the time it presents itself and as I mentioned, it's the gravitational pull of law enforcement," Schurmeier said. "I understand and I value the SBI's independence. So I understand what the legislation intended to accomplish, and I fully support that. I've independently enforced the law my whole career."

In January, then-SBI Director B.W. Collier announced he would retire less than a year after being nominated for a full 8-year term.

McCrory nominated Collier in February 2015 after picking him as acting SBI Director in August 2014 when the legislature shifted the SBI from under Attorney General Roy Cooper to under a McCrory Cabinet-level agency.

Deputy Director Janie Sutton has been serving as acting director for the last few months.

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