Hoke County government probe could go from 'zero to 60'

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The SBI is investigating Hoke County government workers.

The doors are back open at the Hoke County government offices after Monday's SBI raid, but the investigation is still underway.

And ABC11 has learned that there is more to it than just a few time sheets.

The State Bureau of Investigation took control of the Hoke County Government Office on Monday for nearly seven hours. Armed with search warrants, agents combed through paper payroll records for several county employees.

ORIGINAL STORY: SBI EXECUTES SEARCH WARRANT ON HOKE COUNTY GOVERNMENT OFFICE

The investigation came as a surprise to the county manager and county commissioners, who had to move their Monday night meeting to the courthouse annex because of the seizure.

But while several county leaders were unaware of the circumstances surrounding the raid, Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin said Tuesday that his office started investigating three months ago and turned it over to the SBI once they realized how big of a case they had.

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"First of all, this is not just about time sheets as I'm hearing," Peterkin said. "And right now, it can go from zero to 60 and I'm not talking about speed. I'm talking about people.

"And if this was something minor, we could've handled this in the sheriff's office," Peterkin added.

The sheriff told ABC11 he can't speak on what the SBI has found so far, or possible charges, but he said everyone involved could be looking at jail time.

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