Sheriff Steve Bizzell said the probe centered around inappropriate texting on personal phones.
"Incidents of this nature are directly against the standard of excellence for employees of the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office that serve the citizens of Johnston County," Bizzell told WTSB Radio.
The internal investigation began two weeks ago. Bizzell declined to give specifics about what the text messages said.
The sheriff confirmed Detective David Hildreth voluntarily resigned on Dec. 5 - prior to being questioned during the internal probe. Jailors Doug Haddix, Kim Batts, and Cindry Brantley were dismissed from their jobs for alleged conduct unbecoming of a detention officer. Jailor Karen Massengill was terminated for alleged conduct unbecoming of a detention officer and for allegedly being untruthful to investigators during the internal investigation.
With information from Mickey Lamm/WTSB Radio